New Delhi: In the first major attempt in India to develop small civil transport aircraft, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) introduced Hindustan 228, a 19-seater aircraft that can be operated even in semi-prepared and unpaved airstrips.
“The design has been transferred to us from Dornier GmbH. This particular aircraft is under type certification and will have it in the name of Hindustan 228. All the testing parameters have been completed,” news agency quoted Apurba Roy, General Manager, HAL as saying.
“There is a huge potential for these kinds of aircraft in the market. There are few aircraft in India and across the world that are designed for short-haul travel and can operate on a semi-prepared runway. This aircraft can have many utilities. They can be used as an ambulance, cargo, parajam or paradrop, etc. It is a multi-utility aircraft,” he said.
Roy further said HAL is making six more such aircraft. The 19-seater aircraft has no toilet. And if the toilet is added then seating capacity will be 17. The engine of the aircraft is not made in India. “There is a lot of interest shown from the state governments as well as private parties to make it deployable in the Udaan scheme,” he added.
Earlier this month, a ground-breaking ceremony was held in Goa for a new facility of Helicopter Engines MRO Pvt Limited (HE-MRO), a joint venture of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Safran. The facility, located in Sattari, 40km from Panaji, will be operational by the end of 2023, HAL said.