- Indonesia has completed the maiden flight of its N219 twin-turboprop aircraft
- Flight paves the way for further tests and certifications for the programme, which was originally scheduled to begin serial production in 2015
State-owned firm PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) has flown its N219 twin-turboprop aircraft for the first time, a source close to event informed Jane's on 16 August.
The aircraft, which took to the skies shortly after 9 am on the same day from Husein Sastranegara International Airport in Bandung, was flown by the company's chief test pilot Captain Esther Gayatri Saleh; the airframe was airborne for about for about 26 minutes within the city's airspace, before landing at the same airport. Prior to its first flight test, the N219 underwent a series of high-speed taxi runs on 11 August at the same location.
The N219, which derives its design from the Airbus Military C212 Aviocar, was first conceived in 2007 as a multi-mission, short take-off and landing platform that can operate from austere runways, and was formally presented to potential customers in 2010. Subsequently, a prototype of the aircraft was first revealed in December 2015, according to information from Jane's All the World's Aircraft . Funding for the project's initial investment of IDR300 billion (USD22.4 million) was borne jointly by Indonesia's Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises, the Ministry of Research, Technology, and Higher Education, and the Indonesian National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN). The Indonesian Ministry of Transportation was also involved in the latter stages of the project via its Directorate General of Civil Aviation, although it provided no funding to the programme.
According to specifications provided by PTDI, the N219 platform features an overall length of 16.7 m, a height of 6.2 m, and a wingspan of 19.5 m. The aircraft has a maximum take-off weight of 7,030 kg (15,498 lb) and can deliver a maximum payload of 2,313 kg (5,099 lb).