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Jakarta Post

Dirgantara's second N-219 prototype completes first test flight

  • Arya Dipa

    The Jakarta Post

Bandung, West Java   /   Mon, December 24, 2018   /   10:23 am
Dirgantara's second N-219 prototype completes first test flight PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PT DI) test pilot Capt. Esther Gayatri pilots the first N-219 prototype during takeoff on Aug. 17, 2017 on a test flight from Husein Sastranegara International Airport in Bandung, West Java. (JP/Arya Dipa)

State-owned aircraft manufacturer PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PT DI) has run the first test flight for its second N-219 aircraft prototype in Bandung, West Java.

The first N-219 prototype was tested on Aug. 17, 2017.

PT DI chief test pilot Capt. Esther Gayatri Saleh and First Officer Capt. Ervan Gustanto piloted the twin-turboprop 19-seater aircraft on a 20-minute flight on Friday to land successfully at Husein Sastranegara International Airport. Two onboard engineers monitored the aircraft's performance during the flight.

“This second prototype is much better [than the first] because the flight control system is much improved,” said Esther, who also piloted the first prototype last year.

PT DI chief engineer Palmana Banandhi said the first and second prototypes flew different test missions. "This is to accelerate our process to obtain certification," he said.

Palmana said that the first prototype still needed to undergo a series of tests, such as a flight performance analysis and structural evaluation, while the second prototype needed to undergo several system tests, including tests on its electrical, flight control and propulsion systems.

“All flight tests for the two prototypes will be optimized so that we can obtain type certification next year," he said.

PT DI also plans to run a static test on its two prototypes, as well a fatigue test of 3000 flight cycles.

Prior to mass production, aircraft must undergo 300 hours of test flights and various other tests to obtain a type certification on airworthiness from the Transportation Ministry.

To date, several customers have already preordered the first batch of N-219, including state-owned carriers Pelita Air Service and Trigana Air Service. Others that have expressed interest in acquiring the aircraft include the Aceh provincial government and a number of African countries.

PT DI plans to produce six N-219 aircraft per year under its current capacity, after which it intends to upgrade its facilities with an automated manufacturing system to produce up 36 aircraft per year. (das/bbn)