PICTURES: Flight-testing begins for Dornier 228NG

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Swiss firm RUAG Aerospace has started the flight-test programme for its modernised version of the Dornier 228 turboprop.

It formally rolled out the Dornier 228NG at an event near the German town of Oberpfaffenhofen on 12 November, two years after its decision to restart production of the 19-seat twin-engined aircraft.

RUAG has updated the type to include digital avionics, modernised navigation and communications equipment, new five-bladed propellers and a modified landing-gear.

dornier 228ng
 © Steffen Leiprecht

India's Hindustan Aeronautics manufactures the main aerostructures but RUAG has implemented around 350 detailed changes to the previous 228 model in order to create the new aircraft.

RUAG has already carried out extensive ground-testing but the company says this effort is moving to a "decisive phase" with the start of flight tests.

dornier 228ng
 © Steffen Leiprecht

The aircraft has been ordered by a small number of commercial operators but RUAG says it can serve as the platform for other tasks, and the company is to offer a maritime patrol variant.

"With a modular concept the customer will get an overall system tailored to his needs," says RUAG Aerospace Services managing director Wolfgang Neumann.

RUAG conducted a formation flight with the aircraft, as part of the roll-out event, with the 228NG accompanied by two other German 228s.