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ILA: Dornier 228NG on track for August certification

Ruag is optimistic of firming another order for its Dornier 228NG turboprop during the show, with certification of the aircraft on track for the end of August.

If it meets this schedule for European Aviation Safety Agency approval, initial delivery of the twin-engined aircraft, which is on display at ILA, will be in the third quarter of this year.

"We're almost finished with the certification test flights," 228NG programme director Oliver Parduhn told Flight Daily News at the show. "We need to put the papers together for EASA."

The 228NG is a modernised version of the older 228 turboprop, with improvements including glass cockpit avionics and a composite five-bladed propeller.

Dornier 228NG, Billypix
 © Billypix

Ruag produces the aircraft at Oberpfaffenhofen, although several main assemblies are shipped from Hindustan Aeronautics in India.

Parduhn says the first production airframe is "already technically finished". The aircraft has completed ground testing and Ruag is awaiting certification to proceed with airborne checks.

The type has gained 10-12 orders and options from five or six customers. Parduhn says there is the possibility of another agreement being secured today.

Customers are typically looking for one or two aircraft at a time, he says. The 228NG is aimed at niche commuter airlines with particular demands - such as short-runway operations - and the special-mission market.

Work on the third production example has started. The first production airframe will go to an undisclosed Asian customer, while the second is bound for northern Norwegian carrier Lufttransport. Vietnamese authorities have also expressed interest in a pair of special-mission aircraft.

Parduhn says the manufacturer will continue collating performance data once the certification is complete. "But what we've seen so far is that the propeller is quieter, and the efficiency in the cruise and the climb are measurably better," he says.

More importantly, he adds, the perception from the cabin is that the aircraft is quiet. "You can have all the numbers in a table," he says. "But it's the passengers' experience which counts."

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