N219 Turboprop Gains Indonesian Certification

 - December 28, 2020, 9:57 AM
The N219 has received Indonesian type certification. (Photo: National Institute of Aeronautics and Space)

Indonesia’s 19-seat N219 regional turboprop, developed by PTDI and the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN), has secured a type certificate from the country’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation, LAPAN said Monday. The model’s first prototype, which flew for the first time in 2017, completed 275 flight hours during 250 cycles, while the second prototype, clocked 176 hours during 143 flights since its first flight in March 2019, the agency reported in a statement.

The N219’s certification marks Indonesia’s return to indigenous aircraft manufacturing following the collapse of the IPTN N250 program, advancement of which fizzled after several hundred hours of flight testing under the weight of the Asian financial meltdown in the late 1990s. Indonesia produces the NC212 Aviocar and CN-235 under license from Spain’s CASA.

PTDI now expects to start assembly of the airplanes at a rate of four per year. The company added it will upgrade its production facilities with more modern equipment and systems with the intention of increasing production capacity as the need arises. 

PTDI expects the N219 to prove useful in serving far-flung destinations in the country’s vast archipelago, reaching isolated areas with short dirt runways. According to PTDI’s specifications, the N219 carries a maximum takeoff weight of 15,500 pounds and can take off on runways as short as 1,493 feet with maximum load. Powered by two 850-shp Pratt & Whitney PT6A-42 turboprops, the unpressurized airplane flies to a maximum range of 828 nm. The flight deck is equipped with Garmin’s G1000 integrated avionics suite.

Uses include passenger and cargo services, troop transport, military surveillance, search and rescue, as well as medevac operations in remote regions with short, rugged airstrips. Priced at between $5.8 million and $6 million, the N219 sells for a slightly lower price than its main competitor, the Viking DHC-6 Twin Otter. 

PTDI added that it expects an amphibious version, now in its preliminary design state, to gain certification in 2024.

The company has secured two launch customers—the government of Aceh in North Sumatra and the government of Papua in Indonesia’s easternmost province—and claims to have amassed letters of intent covering at least 120 aircraft.