The Dornier (HAL-DO-228) maritime surveillance aircraft to be handed over to Seychelles on January 31. Photo: TAD, Kanpur
By Anantha Krishnan M
Express News Service
Bangalore: Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) is ready with an aggressive plan to market the upgraded Dornier (HAL-DO-228) aircraft, capitalising on the market potential the company envisages in Indian regional air routes. Built by HAL’s Transport Aircraft Division (TAD) in Kanpur, the HAL-DO-228 is a highly reliable, multi-purpose, fuel efficient, rugged, light-weight twin turboprop aircraft with a retractable tricycle landing gear. The cockpit is designed to accommodate two crew members and is fitted with duplicate controls. The cabin can accommodate 19 passengers in commuter configuration.
Sharing company's plans for HAL-DO-228, chairman R K Tygai tells Express that the full aircraft structures are already being exported to Germany for assembly and supply to world-wide market. “Efforts are underway to achieve direct exports. In addition to the conducive military markets in countries like Mauritius, Nepal, Vietnam, South Africa, Afghanistan, Columbia we are keen to penetrate into civil export markets with tailor-made strategies,” Tyagi said.
He said that HAL has fitted several role-specific equipment on the aircraft, to meet the specialized requirement of customers. It has a combination of 360 deg surveillance radar, Forward Looking Infra Red (FLIR) system, electronic surveillance measures system, pollution detection and control equipment, satellite communication, data link, speech secrecy, traffic collision and avoidance system, enhanced ground proximity warning system and a host of customer-specified sensors.
“For a sustainable growth in passenger traffic, development of regional air routes is of paramount importance. Hub and spoke (a popular point-to-point model) network is an established model wherein the regional traffic is built at selected hubs through regional spokes. The hubs thus created would fall on trunk routes catered by large airlines. The regional routes are best served initially by a smaller turbo-prop aircraft of around 19-seater category and we are pitching in on with the HAL-DO-228s, ” Tyagi said.
Defence Minister A K Antony is handing over one HAL-DO-228, maritime surveillance aircraft to the Government of Seychelles on January 31, in New Delhi. As per a contract signed last year, HAL needs to deliver another aircraft to Seychelles within a year. At Aero India-2013, starting in Bangalore on February 6, the company is displaying a reconstructed HAL-DO-228, with fully digital glass cockpit.
HAL-DO-228 general features
Maximum take-off weight: 6400 kg.
Maximum payload: 1903 kg
Fuel capacity: 2850 litre (2250 kg)
Maximum cruise speed: 428 km/hr
Engines: Two Garrett TPE 331-5-252D, each driving a four-bladed reversible pitch, fully-feathering propeller.
Roles: Regional airliner, air taxi, VIP/executive transport, maritime surveillance, reconnaissance, intelligence warfare, troop transport, para-jumping, pollution detection and control, Search and rescue, casualty evacuation, ambulance, cargo and logistics support, calibration of airport navigation aids, geographical surveys, aerial photography, anti-submarine roles.
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