West Australian shipbuilder Austal Ships' 86-metre, Auto Express catamaran Adnan Menderes has achieved a maximum speed of 42 knots. The 340 deadweight tonne Adnan Menderes is the first of two such vessels to be built for eastern Mediterranean operator, Istanbul Deniz Otobusleri (IDO). The vessel, which has a maximum deadweight of 400 tonnes, can carry up to 10 buses or trucks, providing the largest carrying capacity available in its class. Adnan Menderes will operate on the 65-nautical-mile route between the Turkish ports of Yenikapi and Bandirma from this month. In December, the vessel will be joined by its 86-metre sister ship, Turgut Ozal, which is under construction. The new service at peak times will supplement the Yenikapi-Yalova route, on which IDO operates two Austal 60-metre Auto Express car ferries. Austal has built several vessels for IDO. They comprise an entire high-speed range, including two 30-metre monohull ferries, two 40-metre passenger catamarans and two 60-metre vehicle-passenger catamarans. The Adnan Menderes is four metres longer than its predecessor, Auto Express 82, four of which now operate in northern Europe. Austal's designers believe the hi-tech innovations in the 86-metre generation of craft make them the most advanced of their type. The vessels are equipped with engines that generate 26,000 kilowatts of power, as well as the Austal Ocean Leveller ride-control system, which enhances passenger comfort. IDO's specification of a 37-knot service speed was achieved at less than 80 per cent power under full load, which represents a significant reduction in operating costs and enables the vessels to have sufficient reserves to maintain schedule. The Adnan Menderes has been fitted with T-foils forward and interceptors aft - the first of Austal's 80-metre range of catamarans to feature variable interceptors. Its car-carrying capacity has increased from 175 to 200 cars, or 10 buses and 75 cars, and vehicle access is made even easier with car bay sizes uniformly 4.5 metres long and 2.35 metres wide. The vessel's nine main-deck lanes and six mezzanine-deck lanes are accessed through the 9.85-metre stern ramp. Vehicles load via the stern ramp and exit on the same ramp after completing an on-board U-turn. The two bus or freight lanes in the centre of the vehicle deck are more than seven metres wide and have an overhead clearance height of 4.4 metres. The maximum axle load is 12 tonnes, with future developments expected to increase this to 15 tonnes. After the next Auto Express 86 catamaran is delivered to Istanbul at the end of the year, two more 86-metre designs, designated Hulls 94 and 95, are due to be delivered in April and June next year.