First Dornier 228 NG shipset supplied
Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), RUAG Aerospace's partner in the Dornier 228 NG (New Generation) relaunch programme, has supplied the first set of structural parts (shipset) to RUAG Aerospace Services in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany.
This shipset was handed over mid-February, less than one year after contract signing. It comprises the fuselage, wings and tail unit and will arrive mid-April 2009 in Oberpfaffenhofen where the final assembly of the first Dornier 228 NG aircraft starts.
First delivery of a Dornier 228 NG to a customer is scheduled to take place early in 2010. The main changes against the previous Dornier 228-212 model are a new 5-blade propeller made of composite material with enhanced performance, as well as an advanced glass cockpit and new digital avionics.
A handover ceremony together with approximately 1500 invited guests from politics and economy took place mid-February 2009 to celebrate supply of the first shipset in India. Ashok Baweja, chairman of HAL and Wolfgang Neumann, managing director of RUAG Aerospace Services in Oberpfaffenhofen, underlined the strategic importance of this project for both companies and praised the reliable co-operation.
Certification obtained in January by HAL as a manufacturer meeting the EASA requirements is a great step toward future development of the HAL company in India. HAL as licensee has already built and sold more than 80 Dornier 228 aircraft.
Current orders and options on hand are 10 aircraft. "We are very proud of the good order situation, which reflects the result of our market study and the demand for a niche product like the Dornier 228 NG.
The customer list, many of which still prefer not to be mentioned by name, covers Japan, Australia, Mexico and Argentina. "The aircraft will be used in regional transport, in particular from STOL runways, with special equipment for coast, environment and border control tasks", says Neumann.