State-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has given go-ahead for the development of a seaplane variant of Dornier 228 twin-turboprop utility aircraft as per recent media reports. Transport Aircraft Division at Kanpur will be in charge of the program and it is expected that the prototype will be ready in the next 3-4 years to commence flight trials.
HAL had displayed a scale model of the proposed seaplane variant of Dornier 228 aircraft at recently concluded Aero India 2021 and now the Top management has given go-ahead for the proposed variant of the aircraft. idrw.org has been informed that is an internal company-funded program but has seen interests from both military and civilian operators.
Dornier 228 seaplane will help in inter-island travel and communication, along with search and rescue, and reconnaissance of islands. Navy can use them for delivering spares and tools to the warships at deep-sea in case of break down or to be used for emergency evacuation of personnel.
Dornier 228 is a 19 seater, highly versatile multi-purpose light transport aircraft that has been manufactured in Kanpur since 1983 under a licensing production agreement with the German Dornier GmbH company. HAL has produced around 125 Dornier 228s in India.