RUAG Aviation has taken the first steps towards bringing serial production of the Dornier 228 online. The move, which was announced against the backdrop of the International Paris Air Show, sends a clear signal to the market that RUAG is strongly committed to its Dornier 228 program and expects steady growth in this segment.
RUAG will produce four aircraft per year from mid-2016, with this number set to increase in line with demand. Assembly of the fuselage has already begun, and the wing panels are currently in the forming process. The final assembly line has also been set up in Munich-Oberpfaffenhofen as part of the ongoing preparations to get the facility ready for the start of serial production.
Last year, RUAG Aviation signed a partnership agreement with Tata Advanced Systems, a world leader in air frame manufacturing, as part of a far-reaching realignment of its supply chain. This revamped supply chain gives RUAG even greater flexibility to meet the market’s rapidly changing requirements while offering added value to customers. Production of the aircraft involves a number of global suppliers, including Tata in India. Nonetheless, everything is controlled by RUAG personnel on site in Germany where assembly, final checks, and test flights are carried out.
"The Dornier 228 is experiencing significant growth in demand for special missions, including maritime policing and border control. In its special mission configuration, the twin turboprop offers numerous advantages for RUAG’s global customer base, with on-station time of up to eight hours, high performance, and easy installation of equipment," says Volker Wallrodt, Senior Vice President Business Jets, Do228 & Components. "The aircraft is also popular for connecting remote regions in countries such as Venezuela where, as a commuter aircraft, the Dornier 228 has proven its STOL and hot & high capabilities as well as its ability to operate on unprepared runways. The aircraft can also be re-configured from passenger to cargo-transportation layout with minimum effort. Besides that, it offers outstanding low operations costs," he adds.
Interest in the Dornier is set to take off in the key regions of Asia and Africa where the trend among operators is for smaller 19-seater aircraft such as the Dornier. In response to this growth, RUAG is focusing on ensuring a sustainable and reliable serial production line.