NBAA: Ruag's Dornier 228 launches in US market

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Ruag is launching the reborn Dornier 228 into the North American market, displaying the German-built utility turboprop and kicking off a 12-city roadshow at NBAA.

The Swiss aerospace and defence group has signed up Colorado-based International Airborne Solutions as its distributor.

Around 200 of the 19-seat aircraft were built between the early 1980s and late 1990s, and 17 are in service in North America. Ruag bought the rights to program in 2002 and relaunched the 228 four years ago with a new five-blade propeller, a Rockwell Collins and Universal glass cockpit and an uprated -10 version of the Honeywell TPE331 engine. So far, two examples of the 228 Next Generation have been delivered, with a third due to go into service before year-end.

Alexander Müller, managing director of Ruag Aerospace Services, said likely markets for the aircraft include cargo, medevac, Caribbean island hopping and, thanks to its short take-off performance, "specialized commuter", such as transporting personnel to mines and other remote operations.

Vince Macri, president of IAS, said the company is also talking to defense companies about the non-pressurized aircraft's potential for sensor-equipped reconnaissance and homeland security missions.