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The Dornier Do 228 is a twin-turboprop STOL utility aircraft, manufactured by Dornier GmbH (later DASA Dornier, Fairchild-Dornier) from 1981 until 1998. In 1983, Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) bought a production licence and manufactured 125 aircraft. In Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, 245 were built, and 125 in Kanpur, India. In July 2017, 63 aircraft were in airline service.

In 2009, RUAG started building a Dornier 228 New Generation in Germany with the fuselage, wings and tail unit manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in Kanpur (India) and transported to Oberpfaffenhofen near Munich, where RUAG Aviation carries out aircraft final assembly, customized equipment installation, product conformity inspection and aircraft delivery. It is basically the same aircraft with improved technologies and performances, such as a new five blade propeller, glass cockpit and longer range.[4] The first delivery was made in September 2010 to a Japanese operator.[5]


In the late 1970s, Dornier GmbH developed a new kind of wing, the TNT (Tragflügel neuer Technologie – Aerofoil new technology), subsidized by the German Government.[6] Dornier tested it on a modified Do 28D-2 Skyservant and with Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-110 turboprop engines. Finally, Dornier changed the engine and tested the new aircraft, which was named Do 128 with two Garrett AiResearch TPE-331-5 engines.[7] The company developed a new fuselage for the TNT and TPE 331–5 in two variants (15- and 19-passenger) and named both project-aircraft E-1 (later Do 228-100) and E-2 (later Do 228-200). At the ILA Berlin Air Show in 1980, Dornier presented the new aircraft to the public. Both of the prototypes were flown on 28 March 1981 and 9 May 1981 for the first time.[7][8]

After German certification was granted on 18 December 1981, the first Do 228-100 entered service in the fleet of Norving in July 1982.[7] The first operator of the larger Do 228-200 entered service with Jet Charters in late 1982.[9] Certification from both British and American aviation authorities followed on 17 April and 11 May 1984 respectively.[8] By 1983, the production rate of the Do 228 had risen to three aircraft per month; at this point, Dornier had targeted that 300 Do 228s would be produced by the end of the 1980s.[9] In November 1983, a major license-production and phased technology-transfer agreement was signed between Dornier and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) was signed; a separate production line was established and produced its first aircraft in 1985. By 2014, a total of 125 Do 228s had been produced in India.[10]

Over the years, Dornier offered the 228 in upgraded variants and fitted with optional equipment for performing various special missions. In 1996, it was announced that all manufacturing operations would be transferred to India. In 1998, activity on the German production line was halted, in part to concentrate on the production of the larger Fairchild-Dornier 328 and in response to Dornier's wider financial difficulties.[10]

RUAG acquired the Do 228 type certificate in 2003.[11] In December 2007, RUAG announced their intention to launch a modernized version of the aircraft, designated as the Do 228 Next Generation, or Do 228 NG.[10][1][12] At the 2008 Berlin Air Show, HAL agreed on supplying the first three components sets — fuselage, wings and tail — for €5 million, as a part of a €80 million ($123 million) ten-year contract.[13] In June 2010, the passenger aircraft was priced at €5.2 million ($7 million), €5.8–5.9 million with JAR-Ops equipment; restarting its production cost €20 million.[14]

On 18 August 2010, the Do 228NG received its airworthiness certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).[15] The final assembly for the type is located in Germany; however, most airframe subassemblies, such as the wings, tail and fuselage, are produced by HAL in India.[1][16][17] The main changes from the previous Dornier 228-212 model were a new five-blade propeller made of composite material, more powerful engines and an advanced glass cockpit featuring electronic instrument displays and other avionics improvements.[11][18]

The first delivery, to the Japanese operator New Central Aviation, took place in September 2010.[19] RUAG decided to suspend production of the Do 228 NG after the completion of an initial batch of eight aircraft in 2013. In 2014, RUAG and Tata Group signed an agreement for the latter to become a key supplier of the program.[20] Production was restarted in 2015, with deliveries of four per year planned from 2016.[21] In February 2016, RUAG announced that they were set to begin serial production of the Do 228 NG at its German production line in mid-2016;[20][22] the assembly line is reportedly capable of producing a maximum of 12 aircraft per year.[23]

The aircraft was made eligible to fly commercial flights in Europe after the European Aviation Safety Agency accepted the Directorate General of Civil Aviation certification for the aircraft on 30 August 2019.[24]

Supported by Bavarian funding, the German DLR is modifying one of its two Do 228 into a demonstrator hybrid electric aircraft . The first fully electric flight is planned for 2020 and the first hybrid-electric flight for 2021, apparently from Cochstedt Airport. Partners include MTU Aero Engines and Siemens, of which Rolls-Royce plc is acquiring the electric propulsion unit.[25]


The Dornier 228 is a twin-engine general purpose aircraft, capable of transporting up to 19 passengers or various cargoes. It is powered by a pair of Garrett TPE331 turboprop engines. The Do 228 is commonly classified as a Short Takeoff and Landing (STOL)-capable aircraft, being capable of operating from rough runways and in hot climates. This capability has been largely attributed to the type's supercritical wing which generates large amounts of lift at slow speeds.[9][16] The Do 228 is typically promoted for its versatility, low operational costs, and a high level of reliability – possessing a dispatch reliability of 99%. RUAG Aviation have claimed that no other aircraft in the same class may carry as much cargo or as many passengers over a comparable distance as fast as the Do 228 NG.[16]

The rectangular shape of the Do 228's fuselage section and large side-loading doors make it particularly suitable for utility operators, which is a market that Dornier had targeted with the type from the onset.[9] According to Flight International, one of the more distinguishing features of the Do 228 is the supercritical wing used.[9][26] The structure of the wing is atypical, consisting of a box formed from four integrally-milled alloy panels, while kevlar is used for the ribs, stringers, trailing edge and fowler flaps, the wing's leading edge is conventional alloy sheet metal.[6][27] Benefits of this wing over conventional methodology include a 15% reduction in weight, the elimination of 12,000 rivets, and lowering the per-aircraft manufacturing workload by roughly 340 man hours. Both the fuselage and tail are of a conventional design, but make use of chemical milling in order to save weight.[9]

The Do 228 has been promoted in various capacities, including as a commuter aircraft, a military transporter, cargo hauler, or as a special missions aircraft. Special missions include maritime surveillance, border patrol, medevac, search and rescue, paradrop and environmental research missions, in which capacity the type has proven useful due to a ten-hour flight endurance, a wide operating range, low operational cost, and varied equipment range.[6][16][28][29] Special equipment available to be installed include a 360-degree surveillance radar, side-looking airborne radar, forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sensor, search light, operator station, real-time datalink, enlarged fuel tanks, satellite uplink, stretches, air-openable roller door, and infrared/ultraviolet sensors.[16] In addition to a 19-seat commuter configuration for airlines, a VIP cabin configuration is also offered; the cabin can also be customized as per each client's specifications. The Do 228 is the only aircraft of its class to be fitted with air conditioning as standard.[16][30]

More than 350 design changes are present between the Do 228 and the re-launched Do 228 NG. Amongst the principal changes is the adoption of Universal's UNS-1 glass cockpit, which means that standard aircraft are equipped to be flown under single-pilot instrument flight rules (IFR) in addition to visual flight rules (VFR); according to RUAG Aviation, the Do 228 NG is the first aircraft in its class to be certified with equivalent electronics.[16][31] A total of four large displays are used in the cockpit, two primary flight displays and two multifunction displays, to present all key flight data.[6] The navigation system includes VHF omnidirectional range (VOR), distance measuring equipment (DME), automatic direction finder (ADF), radar altimeter, Global Positioning System (GPS), air data computer, and a flight management system. A three-axis autopilot can be optionally incorporated, as can a weather radar and high frequency (HF) radio.[16][30] While designed for two-pilot operation, the Dornier 228 can be flown by only one crewmember.[9]

Additional changes include the Garrett TPE331-10 engines, which have been optimized to work with the redesigned five-bladed fibre-composite propellers now used by the type, which are more efficient, quick to start, and produces substantially less vibration and noise than the original metal four-bladed predecessor.[16][9][32] Through its engines, the Do 228 NG has the longest time between overhaul (TBO) of any 19-seat aircraft, reportedly up to 7,000 hours. An engine-indicating and crew-alerting system (EICAS) is also present for safety purposes; additional optional safety equipment akin to much larger passenger aircraft, including airborne collision avoidance system (ACAS) and terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS), can be incorporated as well.[16]


In July 2018, 57 aircraft were in airline service.[33] Other operators include police, law enforcement, para-military operators and military operators.

By July 2018, the fleet accumulated over four million flight hours.[34]

Accidents and incidents

The Do 228 has been involved in 49 aviation accidents and incidents including 40 hull losses.[35] Those resulted in 187 fatalities.[36]

Specifications (Do 228NG)

Data from RUAG[45]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Capacity: 19 pax
  • Length: 16.56 m (54 ft 4 in)
  • Wingspan: 16.97 m (55 ft 8 in)
  • Height: 4.86 m (15 ft 11 in)
  • Wing area: 32 m2 (340 sq ft)
  • Airfoil: Do A-5[46]
  • Empty weight: 3,900 kg (8,598 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 6,575 kg (14,495 lb)
  • Fuel capacity: 1,885 kg (4,156 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Honeywell TPE331-10 turboprop, 579 kW (776 shp) each
  • Propellers: 5-bladed MT-Propeller, 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in) diameter fully-feathering constant-s[eed propellers[47]


  • Cruise speed: 413 km/h (257 mph, 223 kn)
  • Stall speed: 137 km/h (85 mph, 74 kn)
  • Range: 396 km (246 mi, 214 nmi) with 1,960 kg (4,321 lb) payload
  • Ferry range: 2,363 km (1,468 mi, 1,276 nmi) with 547 kg (1,206 lb) payload
  • Endurance: 10 hours[16]
  • Service ceiling: 7,620 m (25,000 ft) [47]
  • Fuel consumption: 0.945 kg/km (3.35 lb/mi)
  • Take-off run: 792 m (2,600 ft) (MTOW, ISA, SL)
  • Landing run: 451 m (1,480 ft) (MLW, ISA, SL)

See also

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Related lists

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