Atol amphibious aircraft: past, present, and future
|1970s||Inspired by the American Ospray II, the first drafts of the amphibious aircraft emerge using the Ken Rand KR structure.|
Atol’s predecessors were larger and their structure recalled the traditional structure of a wooden aircraft.
|1980s||An American amphibious aircraft crashes in Pirkkala. In the investigation, the aircraft’s handling is found to be hazardous. A correct change in trim and otherwise safe flying characteristics are selected as Atol’s design requirements.|
|1986||Martekno Ky is established. Its first products are aircraft and helicopter skis, and external transportation rigs in helicopters. |
The Atol amphibious aircraft is developed further.
|1988||The first flight of the Atol amphibian in Rovaniemi on August 23, 1988, and the first test flight on water in Norvajärvi, Rovaniemi on October 20, 1988.|
|1989|| A lengthy sales tour in southern Finland using the first prototype. As a result, three assembly kits are sold. Later in the fall, two more kits were sold.|
The first prototype is destroyed in a storm in the fall of 1989 but, with the insurance indemnity and by using the first prototype’s front fuselage and wings, we were able to build the second prototype.
Martekno Finland Oy
|1990 ||At the beginning of 1990, Martekno Finland Ltd is established and the Atol project is transferred to the new company. Production is launched by building jigs and moulds, and training employees. |
The second prototype makes its first flight in Norvajärvi on October 12, 1990.
Atol was received with enthusiasm both in Finland and internationally.
|1991||The Finnish economy falls into a deep recession, which is reflected in Martekno Finland Oy’s operations. During its brief history, Martekno Finland Oy delivers assembly kits for five airplanes. Of the three that have flown, two are still in a good flying condition.|
Atol Avion Ltd
|1993||Atol Avion Ltd is established, and the company acquires Martekno Finland Ltd’s bankruptcy estate.|
The company specializes in product development and the manufacture of prototypes. It purchases a 600 square-meter industrial hall. Since that time, it has continued to make significant investments in machinery and tools.
Atol has been developed continuously. The manufacturing technology of the structure and systems has been refined, and the aircraft’s level of finishing has been improved. The design of the engine cowling and the extension of the fuselage have been worked on for years. The nose, hood, and rear hood have been designed for optimal aerodynamics and to reduce twirling in the tail.
The company continues to offer support for aircraft manufactured by Martekno Finland Ltd. Spare parts are still available and have been delivered since 1993.
Up to this day, a total of five Atol airplanes have flown – two prototypes and two serial aircraft. The second Atol prototype had the same listing number (U165) as the first one but was a different aircraft in practice. Two assembly kits delivered by Martekno and one delivered by Atol Avion are still uncompleted. Two templates in the Atol Avion warehouse are currently under construction. The third Atol, which has been airborne, is the prototype of the Atol aircraft with an extended fuselage, the third prototype.
Over the years, Atol Avion has received several purchase offers for its templates.
It was this market pressure that pushed the rebirth of Atol.
The project has completely different starting points than it had twenty years ago:
- Development work is nearly finished.
- Eighty percent of all jigs and moulds already exist.
- The company has its own premises.
- There are competitors on the market and the price level has stabilized.
- The LSA class is excellent for Atol. LSA (Light Sport Aircraft) is a new aircraft class through which the flying weight can be increased by 155 kg compared with the ultralight class.
The Ultralight and LSA versions of Atol are now available for sale, with a four-seater to be sold as an assembly kit under planning. The production goal for 2013 is to build five to six aircraft, after which the aim is to at least double the production every year.
The company will obtain EASA’s DOA (Design Organization Approval) and POA (Production Organization Approval) certificates, which are required in the production of LSA aircraft.