Thursday, December 28, 2017

Dornier 228, Indian NavyIndia's Locally-Built 19-Seater Aircraft Set to Rattle Global Manufacturers

New Delhi: The Dornier 228 aircraft manufactured under license by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has become the first civilian aircraft manufactured in India to get the approval of the country's aviation regulator. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has given a thumbs-up to the civilian version of the Do-228, which was originally produced by German firm Dornier GmbH and was used as a military aircraft in India. HAL later bought a license from the German company and started locally manufacturing the aircraft.

After serving the Indian armed forces for over three decades, the twin-turboprop Dornier Do-228 is all set to serve India's booming civilian aviation sector. The current government led by Narendra Modi has set an ambitious regional connectivity target and this 19-seater high wing aircraft with retractable tricycle landing gear is most likely to be favored by local airliners.
It is being speculated that the Do-228 will compete with France-based turboprop aircraft manufacturer ATR in the Indian market as HAL claims that the Do-228 would cost approximately $10 million per unit as compared to the ATR that comes at $24 million per unit. Low-cost Indian carriers that usually lease aircraft instead of buying them, to ensure low operational expenses, may have no qualms investing in cheaper aircraft like the Do-228. The Do-228 has a maximum cruise speed of 428 kilometers per hour and a range of 700 km.
The Indian aviation sector is growing at an average annual rate of 15-20 percent. In this backdrop, there is a strong demand for more airplanes. US manufacturer Boeing expects the world's fastest-growing aviation market to order as many as 2,100 planes worth $290 billion over the next 20 years; mostly (1,780) in the 90-seater to the 230-seater category. However, with regard to infrastructure capacity and passenger availability, low-cost carriers, mainly new entrants, may choose an aircraft having a lower operational expense with a smaller passenger capacity. India's biggest airline — Air India — also plans to purchase smaller aircraft having 20 to 49 seats and the Do-228 serves all the requirements.
14/12/17 Sputnik