PICTURES: Ruag assembles first Dornier 228 New Generation

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Ruag is close to completing final assembly of the first new-build Dornier 228 New Generation 19-seat turboprop at its factory in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany. The aircraft, the first 228 to roll off the German line since 1997, will be delivered to an undisclosed Japanese airline.

Another two 228NGs are on the line, one for delivery to Norwegian Lufttransport and one for the German navy.

Ruag aims to secure European Aviation Safety Agency certification for the 228NG by mid-September, a few months later than originally planned.

"We decided last year that we will also certify standard options for JAR-Ops equipment, plus additional options like cockpit voice/flight data recorders, TCAS and GPS," says Wolfgang Neumann, Ruag Aerospace Services managing director.

dornier 228, andrew doyle/flightglobal
 © Andrew Doyle/Flightglobal

Ruag plans to roll out a total of four 228NGs this year, between four and six in 2011 and eight to 10 annually from 2012. "It depends a little bit on some customers we are talking to now," says Neumann. Orders and options have been booked for 12 aircraft, he says.

The company expects about two-thirds of orders to be for the passenger version, and the remainder for the special missions market. List price for the passenger aircraft is €5.2 million ($7 million), increasing to €5.8-5.9 million if optional JAR-Ops equipment is specified.

The 19-seat 228NG features a glass cockpit and introduces airframe weight savings and new five-bladed propellers. "In total we have done around 350 modifications to improve the aircraft where it makes sense," says Neumann.

Swiss company Ruag took over the 228 type certificate in 2003 and decided to relaunch production in October 2007 following customer requests. Hindustan Aeronautics of India is responsible for manufacturing airframe subassemblies.

dornier 228 cockpit, andrew doyle/flightglobal
 © Andrew Doyle/Flightglobal