Indonesia’s aircraft manufacturer PTDI (Stand G39) has announced the first firm orders for the N219 twin-turboprop 19-seater. The first flight was made last August, and a second prototype is expected to join the flight test program in March or April. The STOL design is a key feature.
“We have flown about 18 hours on 15 flights, and everything is going as expected,” director of production Arie Wibowo told AIN. The plan is to fly up to 350 flight-test hours with the two prototypes, while two fatigue test examples are subjected to 3,000 cycles. Wibowo said that the target date for Indonesian certification is the end of this year. PTDI is talking to long-term partner Airbus about subsequently achieving EASA CS-23 certification.
The first production aircraft have been ordered by Indonesian carriers Pelita Air Service (20, plus 80 options) and Trigana Air Service (five, plus five options). Pelita will also operate and maintain two N219s for the regional government of Kalimantan, and another one for Puncak Jaya (Indonesian Papua). The government of Aceh province has expressed interest in acquiring 50 aircraft, and contributing parts for the aircraft from a new production facility. PTDI is planning to deliver the first aircraft to Pelita in early July 2019, and to build its production capacity to as many as 36 N219s per year.
Yesterday PTDI also signed a framework agreement at the show with Avitra Aerospace Technologies, for the possible production of the N219 in China. Both countries have similar needs for a rugged, low-cost aircraft that can help in development of rural areas. The N219 has been designed for cargo as well as passenger transport, and can also act as an air ambulance.