IPTN has dropped plans to develop a shortened, 80-seat, version of the planned N2130 short-haul jet-airliner and instead opted for a larger-aircraft family with six-abreast seating for between 104 and 132 passengers.

The Indonesian manufacturer had intended building three different sizes of N2130, seating 80, 100 and 130 passengers. Subsequent consultations with airlines, however, have revealed little support for either an 80-seater or a five-abreast cabin cross-section.

"We've talked to a lot of potential customers and found that most airlines preferred a six-abreast aircraft as it is roomier and gives them a larger cargo capacity," says N2130 programme executive vice-president Ilham Habibie.

Designing a 80-seater with a six-abreast configuration was complicated by the shortened length of the fuselage and close proximity of engines nacelles to cargo doors, making ground handling difficult (Flight International, 3-9 July, 1996). Habibie adds that the smaller N2130 would have also "been in conflict" with the stretched N250-100 and N270 turboprops now in development at IPTN.

With the conceptual N2130 technology programme drawing to close and the basic design due to be frozen by the first week of April, several other important decisions have also been taken. Designers have opted for a 3.95m-diameter circular-section hull, while the length of the baseline aircraft has been lengthened by 1m, to 31.25m.

The baseline N2130, tentatively designated the -100, will be able to accommodate 114 passengers in single-class configuration, with 812mm seat pitch, or 104 in a mixed two-class layout. The stretched, 33.86m-long, -200 version will seat up to 132 passengers in an all-tourist-class configuration.

IPTN is planning to offer basic gross-weight (BGW) and increased gross-weight (IGW) versions of both the -100 and -200 aircraft. The -100 BGW will have a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of around 49,500kg and a range of 2,220km (1,200nm), while the IGW will have a MTOW of 51,500kg and an extended range of 2,970km. The two -200 BGW and IGW variants will offer the same ranges with a MTOW of 56,000kg and 58,000kg, respectively.

According to Habibie, IPTNremains committed to a fly-by-wire flight-control system, but has abandoned the idea of fitting Airbus-style sidesticks, in favour of a conventional column.

He adds that four major decisions on aircraft subsystems are outstanding, and final selections will need to be made within the next 12 months. They are the landing gear, flight-control system, cockpit avionics and engines.

Source: Flight International