N-219 aircraft production to begin in 2017: Technology minister

The 19-seater aircraft will have to pass wing and landing gear tests before it can get the ministry`s certificate, which is based on international flight standards.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government plans to start production of N-219 aircraft in 2017, after it receives certification from the transportation ministry, Minister of Research, Technology and Higher Education Mohamad Nasir said.

"N-219 aircraft is preparing for certification. The test flight is scheduled in the second and fourth week of January 2017. We hope that the aircraft can pass the test flight and meet the adequate flight hours before production starts," Nasir said on the sidelines of the ministrys year-end reflection and Journalist Awards 2016 here on Wednesday.

The 19-seater aircraft will have to pass wing and landing gear tests before it can get the ministrys certificate, which is based on international flight standards.

Nasir said if the test flights in the second and fourth weeks of January are successful, it will open the doors for the aircraft to enter its production phase.

"The aircrafts price will be very competitive," he noted.

Previously, the Ministrys Director General of Innovation Jumain Ape said that after passing the certification process the homegrown aircraft will make its initial flight officially at the National Technology Awareness (Hakteknas) 2017 in Makassar.

The turboprop type aircraft is jointly designed by state-owned aircraft manufacturer PT Dirgantara Indonesia and the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN), and it is intended to operate in remote areas for transporting passengers and cargo.

The aircraft is designed to comply with FAR 23 (commuter category aircraft) and claims to have the largest cabin volume in its class and a flexible door system to allow multi-purpose missions for transporting passengers and cargo.

N-219 which is expected to meet demand in Indonesia, Asia, and Africa, is made of aluminum 20 and 24, like NC212 and CN235.

Some components in the aircraft, for instance landing gear, were produced jointly by local companies.(*)

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