Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), a defense sector company, has started manufacturing a civilian aircraft, the Dornier 228.
In the 60s and 70s, HAL manufactured the British Avro HS-748 and by 1988 the company stopped production after manufacturing 380 aircraft between themselves and Hawker Siddeley, the owner of Avro. The Indian Airforce still uses the HS-748 as a transport plane while Indian Airlines, at one point in time, was a large operator of the Avro’s and had 26 operational aircrafts in its fleet.
The company has been producing aircrafts for the Indian Airforce for the last six decades, which include making aircrafts such as the Hindustan Trainer-2 and its variant, the Hindustan Propulsion Trainer 32 (HPT-32), Dornier 228 transport and surveillance aircraft, and the Light Combat Helicopter. More recently, the company now manufactures the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) for the IAF.
A 19-seater Hindustan-228, a civilian version of Dornier 228 (Do-228), is HAL’s first major attempt to develop a fully indigenous civilian aircraft in India.
Why is HAL Manufacturing A Civilian Aircraft?
Recently, Jyotiraditya Scindia, the Civil Aviation Minister, announced that the government would open 1000 new routes to connect small towns. In addition, the government remains committed to open new airports in the country under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (UDAN). As has been seen from past data, the passenger traffic from smaller towns is low. A small aircraft like the Dornier 228 with 19 seats will be the ideal aircraft for airlines on short-haul routes. Already, HAL has deployed two Do-228 in the northeast region of the country.
The technical specifications of the Dornier 228 is given in the table below.
HAL successfully carried out the Type Certification for a successful ground run and low-speed taxi trials for this new aircraft on August 15.
According to HAL, the “HAL Do-228 is the most prolific and reliable aircraft in its segment, which has the unique advantage of Short Take-Off & Landing (STOL) capability, high fuel and payload capacity, low maintenance cost, economical fuel consumption and high cruising speed in its class.”
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