Indonesian homegrown aircraft set for Aug 10 debut

Kusumo

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The Indonesian-made 19-seater N219 aircraft will make its first flight on Aug 10, its manufacturer Dirgantara Indonesia said.

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JAKARTA: Indonesian homegrown aircraft N219 is scheduled to make its maiden flight on Aug 10 in Bandung. State-owned aircraft manufacturer Dirgantara Indonesia told Channel NewsAsia that a deal for the sale of the first 40 aircraft will also be sealed on that day.

The 19-seater twin propeller plane, which was unveiled to the public in December 2015, is designed to fly in remote and mountainous areas in Indonesia.

There has been a lot of interest in the light transport aircraft – orders for 40 units will be completed soon, with another 40 waiting in the wings.

“We would like to have this contract signing at the same time when we fly this aircraft,” said Budi Santoso, President, Dirgantara Indonesia. “This is an Indonesian company, we would like to make it a surprise when we sign the contract; we have 40 orders and we are currently negotiating with another company for another 40.”

More than 300 staff are working on the project, many of them young local engineers. This is the first time Dirgantara Indonesia is undertaking a project without relying on foreign expertise.

The N219's close competitor is the Canadian twin otter, and the Indonesian aerospace firm said it is confident it will be able to compete based on technology and price.

“As a newcomer, we have to make it at a lower cost than current players in this field,” said Mr Budi. “We are convinced that this aircraft is cheaper to operate compared to our competitors. When we designed this aircraft, we used an engine that is cheaper to operate.”

Dirgantara Indonesia insists that a smaller price tag does not mean inferior quality, as the safety of the aircraft will not compromised.

The N219 took just five years to make, with delivery for the first planes slated for 2017. The aircraft is presently undergoing certification by Indonesia's transport ministry. The aircraft will also be going through a second round of certification for it to be exported.

COUNTRIES INTERESTED IN THE N219

Already, a number of countries have expressed interest in the N219. Thailand is keen to purchase 20 units, and Nepal has signalled its intention to acquire six units. Dirgantara Indonesia said it is also working with several African nations to transfer knowledge and to also explore the possibility of assembling the N219 in Africa.

“If we can succeed with the N219, then we can start exporting the knowledge; Africa is interesting because there is a large market for a 20-seater aircraft,” said Gerry Soejatman, Managing Consultant, Communicavia.

“Africa is similar to Indonesia; there are remote areas that have air access, but the benefit is that most of these areas are not as rugged as Indonesia's Papua mountains, and aircraft models that don't make it into the highly rugged markets tend to succeed in Africa.”

He added: “If we can produce a good-quality aircraft, we can dominate the African market because for them if it's cheap, and it’s able to fly to most of the places they want to, they will buy it.”

Aviation analysts said there have not been many successful players in the 20-seater aircraft market, and if the N219 can meet market demands, the potential for success is huge. Its success can also help revitalise the Indonesian aviation industry, and propel it to greater heights in the region.


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N219's full glass cockpit
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N219's spacious cabin, largest in its class
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http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/indonesian-homegrown/2699856.html
 
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remnant

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This is encouraging and a breath of fresh air because many countries are scrambling to outdo each other militarily and committing resources that could be used to develop other aspects of the economy in a pyrrhic war. I have come to learn of many types of sphisticated warplane being developed and assembled by variouss countries around the world. This is significant because civil aeroplanes will benefit from this technology. The only hope one can have is that this aeroplane will not be dogged with technical failures as has been the case in the past with regard to avionics.
 

Kusumo

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This is encouraging and a breath of fresh air because many countries are scrambling to outdo each other militarily and committing resources that could be used to develop other aspects of the economy in a pyrrhic war. I have come to learn of many types of sphisticated warplane being developed and assembled by variouss countries around the world. This is significant because civil aeroplanes will benefit from this technology. The only hope one can have is that this aeroplane will not be dogged with technical failures as has been the case in the past with regard to avionics.
I agree with you, however this is also a chance for PT. Dirgantara Indonesia to ensure healty financial outlook in the future, by expanding their market from supplying military aircraft for government institution to comercial, civilian aircraft. There's a lot of customer there. Canadian Twin Otter and Harbin Y-12 also targeting the same market. From the interview with PT.DI director, an aerospace company in Canada will help us with FAA licensing, assembling and distribution right. For EASA licensing we will colaborate with Airbus.

Actually our ambitious first attempt to introduce national aircraft N250 had failed financially when Indonesia hit by crysis and gone broke in 1998 asian economic crisis.

N250 Prototype
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Glass Cockpit and fly by wire system
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N 250-C 2.jpg

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Today we step prudently by introducing smaller plane N219 a much needed aircraft to reach and connect our 17.000 islands. It's success will pave the way for larger aircraft development N245 and N270. Wish us luck.

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Susimi

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They all look pretty nice and versatile aircraft but I'm afraid I don't like that dashboard set-up. Call me old fashioned but I'm a sucker for lots of dials, not just a single screen.

This aircraft looks like it will be great for STOL situations and situations where it needs a little rough handling. This will be getting a lot of looks over the months for sure.
 

Kusumo

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They all look pretty nice and versatile aircraft but I'm afraid I don't like that dashboard set-up. Call me old fashioned but I'm a sucker for lots of dials, not just a single screen.
The main reason PT. DI opted to design and use glass cockpit for this airplane and many modern aircraft today its because most of its flightplan this aircraft will fly to many remote area specially in the eastern part of indonesia whereareas its landscape and its weather is your number one enemy if you are a pilot in this region. The use of weather radar are one of your most important life saving equipment available today. So its part of safety concern and a safety feature this aircraft can offers I think.

This aircraft looks like it will be great for STOL situations and situations where it needs a little rough handling. This will be getting a lot of looks over the months for sure.
Yeap. Thats in mind when they design this aircraft in the firstplace, because many remote areas are not in a good conditions

By the way, have you already watching this episodes lately? Its a good show and worth to watch! Very adventurous entertaining indeed.
:~_~:
 
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Susimi

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The main reason PT. DI opted to design and use glass cockpit for this airplane and many modern aircraft today its because most of its flightplan this aircraft will fly to many remote area specially in the eastern part of indonesia whereareas its landscape and its weather is your number one enemy if you are a pilot in this region. The use of weather radar are one of your most important life saving equipment available today. So its part of safety concern and a safety feature this aircraft can offers I think.


Yeap. Thats in mind when they design this aircraft in the firstplace, because many remote areas are not in a good conditions

By the way, have you already watching this episodes lately? Its a good show and worth to watch! Very adventurous entertaining indeed.
:~_~:
Never heard of that show but will have to give it a watch. Thanks for the recommendation :)

Does anyone else think that the introduction of this aircraft opens up a lot more possibilities for air forces who were considering on buying the new Airbus transport aircraft? It might look like a cheaper, and maybe better, option for many third-world militaries.
 

xTinx

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Great looking aircraft but hopefully it's got more advanced technology compared to commercial planes. One thing to take note of is whether this new breed of homegrown aircraft will be equipped with technology that's far better and more convenient to retrieve than a black box.
 

Kusumo

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@xTinx thanks bro

This aircraft only $ 5 million price tag. On that price its still even more cheaper than '50 years old' modernized DHC-6 Twin Otter ($ 7 million/unit). In 2013 Thailand already secured order for 20 units even when this plane was still on pappers at the time. Considering Thai Govt already trust us for previous CN-235 purchase for their police force and ministry of forestery.
http://en.avia.pro/news/20-samoletov-n-219-u-indonezii-kupit-tailand?page=3
I do hope philippines also will buy this bird in the future \~/\~/


Philippines already became customer for 2 units NC-212i aviocar made in PT. DI, right! Its scheduled to be delivered in a few weeks or months. AFAIK the plane is ready but your pilots still under training program at PT. DI at this moment. Perhaps you already know this, but let me shares its updates again.

Here you go mate
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shes ready to fly to its new home at clark AFB
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Kusumo

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assembly line
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Kusumo

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March 13, 2017 12:30 pm JST
Indonesian passenger plane project set to take flight
SADACHIKA WATANABE, Nikkei staff writer
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TOKYO -- Indonesia's first commercially produced homegrown passenger plane is nearly ready for its first flight, an achievement that would do much to bolster a growing industry. Yet state-run manufacturer Dirgantara Indonesia has a number of hurdles to overcome before it can compete internationally.

At a factory situated near an airport in Bandung, east of Jakarta, work continues apace on assembling the N219, Dirgantara's 19-seat propeller plane. The company aims to finish the necessary paperwork in April, conduct the N219's maiden flight in midyear and ship the first plane in 2018, said Andi Alisjahbana, director of technology and development.

A long track record

Founded in 1976, Dirgantara's predecessor was initially led by B.J. Habibie, an aerospace engineer who previously served as vice president of a German aircraft manufacturer and later became president of Indonesia. The company successfully flew a homegrown 50- to 70-seat turboprop -- dubbed the N250 -- in 1995, but the project stalled amid the Asian currency crisis and political turmoil.

Dirgantara has a partnership with Airbus -- originally forged in the late 1970s with Spain's CASA, which later became part of the European aerospace giant. The two companies produce planes through a joint venture, and Dirgantara manufactures helicopters under license from Airbus. The Indonesian company has delivered more than 400 commercial and military aircraft to domestic and overseas customers.

Demand for air travel is soaring in the vast island nation of Indonesia. The N219 needs less than 800 meters for takeoff and landing, making it well-suited to remote areas with little space for airstrips. Dirgantara also enjoys an edge on price -- the N219 is priced 20% lower than a major competitor, the DHC-6 Twin Otter from Canada, thanks to local sourcing of such components as window glass and landing gear parts.

Dirgantara has secured provisional orders for nearly 100 N219s from domestic customers, including budget carrier Lion Air, and has announced plans for a 50-seat aircraft. It aims to tap other emerging markets such as Africa as well.

Small planes, big potential

Turboprops are generally used for flights of 1,000km or less. Development and production of small aircraft has fallen off in developed markets, where well-developed rail and road networks dampen demand for short-haul flights. But industry group Japan Aircraft Development Corp. sees the passenger turboprop fleet in the Asia-Pacific region growing 55% between 2015 and 2035 to 1,394, with new orders worldwide forecast to top $65 billion.

Indonesian aircraft developer Regio Aviasi Industri is working on the R80, an 80- to 90-seat turboprop. Dirgantara is to handle its production, with delivery to begin in 2022.

Big European and American players are also using Indonesia as a production base. Airbus transferred all production of the NC212 transport plane to Dirgantara by 2013. The French giant also procures components for the A380 and the cutting-edge A350XWB from Indonesia.

Honeywell International, the American conglomerate that supplies the NC212's engine, operates a plant on the island of Bintan that produces some 120 types of electronic equipment for aircraft, including black boxes.

Still a fledgling

Yet the skies are not all clear for Dirgantara. The manufacturer plans to offer the N219 for around $5.5 million, expecting to break even on it after selling about 200 planes. But sales probably will be limited for now to the less than 100 planes for which Dirgantara has received provisional orders, meaning the project will probably fail to turn a profit even with generous government subsidies.

The N219, being Indonesia's first homegrown aircraft aside from the shelved N250, could have design flaws, circuitry problems or other issues that end up delaying a commercial rollout. The project is already behind schedule given that the maiden flight was slated for mid-2016 back in 2015. Further delays could rack up more development costs.

Dirgantara also lacks the brand power of overseas rivals. France's ATR leads the global market for midsize turboprop planes with 50 to 70 seats, with more than 1,500 aircraft sold. Brazil's Embraer controls more than half the market for 70- to 130-seat planes.

Dirgantara is working on receiving domestic certification for the N219. Exporting the new plane will require international certification along with a major marketing drive.

A broader trend

Indonesia is not the only emerging market working to nurture a nascent aircraft industry. Other countries hope to showcase their growth by making inroads into a field long dominated by big American and European players.

Among the most prominent examples is China, whose first homegrown passenger jet, the ARJ21, began flying commercially last June. Developed by state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China, or Comac, the ARJ21 seats 70 to 80 passengers. The company seeks to sell more of the planes domestically and in emerging markets, with government support.

Hindustan Aeronautics delivered India's first locally produced fighter jet to the air force in 2015 and is looking to develop a passenger plane as well. Turkey has laid out plans for a public-private partnership to develop passenger aircraft, aiming to put a jet and a turboprop plane on the market by 2023.

Foreign companies attracted to the growth potential of emerging markets are partnering with local peers, including on military aircraft. Korea Aerospace Industries has teamed up with Dirgantara to develop a fighter jet, aiming to begin production around 2025.

Video link:
https://players.brightcove.net/3930705536001/default_default/index.html?videoId=5350148347001



Friday, August 11, 2017 (GMT+7)

First Flights..

After one year delayed due parts certification and static ground test finally the first flight of the N219 aircraft takes to the skies today.
This achievement marks the second history of indonesian home grown aircraft after the first project failed to continue due to Asian currency crisis and political turmoil in 1998 soon after the first N250 project made it’s maiden flight.

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WebMaster

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Good going, is it going to be used by civil aviation or for military purposes?
 

Kusumo

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