An undisclosed Australian regional airline has become the third customer to commit to Ruag Aerospace’s Dornier 228 New Generation program, placing an order for five of the 19-seat twin turboprops on December 5. Mexican Air Cancun already holds an order for two, and an undisclosed Japanese operator has signed for six; deliveries are slated to begin in December.
Dornier Do 228
Ruag (Booth No. 1313), the Swiss technology and defense corporation, has created or acquired six business aircraft maintenance and service establishments in Switzerland and Germany since its inception in 1999. It has now announced the setting up of a maintenance network linking the different shops into one operational unit called Ruag Aircraft Services Network.
Swiss defense and technology group Ruag has decided to relaunch production of the Dornier 228, the 19-seat regional turboprop its defunct developer stopped building in 1998. The company has scheduled airframe assembly to start next year and deliveries to begin in 2010.
Norwegian authorities have rushed through new security requirements at the country’s smaller airports in response to a September 29 incident in which a man wielding an axe attacked pilots and passengers on a Dornier 228 operated by regional carrier Kato Airlines.
The empty hangars at Oberpfaffenhofen airfield outside Munich reflect a stark impression of the decline Germany’s aerospace industry has experienced over the past decade. But if one were to look hard enough, signs of renewal have begun to emerge at this extensive industrial site, where Dornier GmbH built scores of aircraft for more than 60 years.
AvCraft CEO Ben Bartel in late January announced the restart of Dornier 328JET production at the company’s plant in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, just outside Munich. Headquartered at Leesburg, Va., AvCraft one year ago acquired production rights for the 328/328JET and its corporate version, the Envoy 3, as well as for the stretched 428JET that might be developed later.
Bankrupt regional aircraft manufacturer Avcraft Aerospace has been bought by UK Corporate Jet Services, parent company of Southampton-based executive charter operator Club328. The new owner will not be resuming aircraft production, but will instead run Avcraft as a support organization for existing Dornier 328 jet and turboprop operators under the name 328 Support Services.
Ruag Aerospace Services of Germany signed a contract with Aerospace Services of Netherlands to deliver two Dornier 228-212 twin turboprops to its coast guard for maritime patrol. By late 2007, the two aircraft are to be overhauled, get a glass cockpit and a Honeywell TPE 331-10 engine upgrade.
Pieced together from many companies in an evolution that commenced in 1999, the Swiss Ruag group is progressing at its cruising speed. The goal of the company’s founders was to move the defense supplier away from the exclusive dependence on the Swiss armed forces and to create an independent enterprise with a diversified customer base. Business aviation is a key part of this strategy.
Aerospace and defense group Ruag (Hall 1 Stand A21) currently has two major domestic defense orders in process. The first is for upgrading Switzerland’s Boeing F/A-18 fighter force with a new friend/foe recognition system and error-resistant air-to-air and air to-ground datalinks.