The reinvented Dornier 228 has taken to the air, ahead of first deliveries early next year.
Dubbed the 228NG (New Generation), the revived twin-turboprop is available for passenger and special mission roles and is the masterpiece of Germany's Ruag Aerospace Services (stand C620). Ruag sees market potential in the region for the 228NG in the maritime patrol role, says sales director Wolfgang Kofen.
"We rolled out and flew the development 228NG on 12 November," he says. "Customer deliveries will begin in March."
Developed from the original 228-212, key features of the NG include an MT Propeller five-bladed prop, a new flightdeck featuring a four-screen electronic flight information system supplied by Universal Avionics and a Universal Avionics UNS-1Ew WAAS/SBAS flight management system.
The development aircraft is an updated old airframe and will carry out about 40h of testing. The first production aircraft, which is in build at Ruag's plant in Oberpfaffenhofen near Munich, is due to fly in January and will be the first to go to a customer. Kofen says this is an undisclosed Japanese airline which holds one of the 10 orders for the new model. The aircraft has also been sold in Argentina, Australia, Mexico and Vietnam.
"The new propeller gives a slightly faster cruise speed - or a 5-7% reduction in fuel burn - and slightly better take-off and climb performance, as well as lower noise," says Kofen.
The rugged, unpressurised 19-seater sells for €5.1-5.5 million ($7.6-8.2 million), depending on specification. "We see a potential market for a float-equipped version, which we'll probably offer by 2012," Kofen says.
Ruag's assembly line is fed by fuselage and wing sections supplied by Hindustan Aeronautics in India, which concluded a licence-production deal with Dornier when the original 228 was in production.