Indonesia's IAe developing new 19-seat aircraft

Singapore
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Indonesian Aerospace has kicked off a three-year programme to develop a new 19-seat turboprop aircraft aimed at small domestic charter operators demanding a "rugged, reliable and affordable" aircraft to service the archipelago nation of 17,000 islands.

IAe aerostructures director Andi Alisjahbana says the high-wing IAe N219 will have a list price of $3.5 million and feature three-abreast seating in one of the largest passenger cabins in its class.

Maximum take-off weight will be around 7t, with a maximum payload of 2.5t and capability to land on runways shorter than 600m (1,970ft). Power will come from 850-900hp (595-670kW) turboprops - probably Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6s, says Alisjahbana, and the tapered wing will be larger than average.

The likely avionics choice will be between the Garmin G1000 and the Honeywell Apex systems, he says, and the N219 will be a Part 23, rather than a Part 25, aircraft.

Alisjahbana believes IAe will need a firm order for 30 aircraft to kick-start the programme. The company is doing a sales roadshow throughout Indonesia to drum up the launch orders.

IAe is focused primarily on getting Indonesian certification and has no firm plans to seek US or European certification for the N219, says Alisjahbana, but IAe can also sell the aircraft in other South-East Asian countries as they recognise Indonesian certification.

IAe also manufactures the 24-seat Part 25 EADS Casa C-212-200 under licence, but the N219 is being developed independently.

IAe vice-president Irzal Rinaldi Zailani says the company has approval to manufacture six more -200s before its -200 licence ends. It also has an agreement with EADS Casa to manufacture the newest model, the C-212-400.

In 2008, Indonesian state-owned carrier Merpati Nusantara signed an agreement for 10 C-212-400s but it never became a firm order, says Irzal.

IAe plans to make C-212-400s primarily for foreign customers, leaving the N219 for the local market, he adds.