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Bangladesh orders Ruag Dornier turboprops
by Staff Writers
Dhaka, Bangladesh (UPI) Jul 28, 2011

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

The Bangladeshi navy has purchased two new upgraded Dornier 228NG turboprop aircraft from Ruag Aviation for maritime patrol and rescue missions.

In the deal for the fixed-wing aircraft is a comprehensive pilot and aircraft maintenance training plan for Bangladeshi naval ground crew.

Ruag, with headquarters in Bern, Switzerland, said the order is the first by the Bangladesh navy for a fixed wing maritime patrol aircraft. Delivery of the aircraft -- "a completely modernized and improved version of the Dornier 228-212" -- is expected for early summer 2013.

The Do 228NG is an updated version of the Dornier-built 228-212.

Improvements include a digital glass cockpit, modern navigation and communication systems, a five-blade propeller made from composite material and an entirely new cabin layout, with "comfortable seats," Ruag said.

The short takeoff aircraft can carry up to 19 passengers and be configured for maritime surveillance, border observations, fisheries control and environmental research. It can take off from unpaved runways and can operate with limited ground services.

Dornier built more than 200 of its 228 aircraft in Oberpfaffenhofen near Munich from 1982-2002. Around 150 of the aircraft are operating worldwide, Ruag which took over manufacturing in 2009, said.

Ruag markets globally its new upgraded versions and also maintains many of the older Dornier-manufactured aircraft.

Structural components of the fuselage, wing unit and tail are supplied by Hindustan Aeronautics in Kanpur, India. HAL has been building Dornier 228 aircraft under license for the Indian market for many years. Final assembly and customer-specific fittings are done in the Ruag factory in Oberpfaffenhofen.

The aircraft, nearly 56 feet long, has a wingspan of 56 feet and is powered by Garrett TPE 331-10 engines for a maximum speed of 290 mph. The service ceiling is around 28,000 feet.

Comparable aircraft are the Antanov An-28, Harbin Y-12, Shorts SC.7 Skyvan and De Havilland Canada's DHC-6 Twin Otter.

In June Ruag's Bern-Belp site began a 14-week overhaul of a Twin Otter, the company's first Twin Otter overhaul contract.

The overhaul consists of a detailed corrosion inspection of the entire aircraft structure and a D-check. All the wiring of the aircraft is being replaced and both wings are being refurbished. The cabin interior and cockpit are scheduled for replacement and the landing gear and various components will be overhauled.

The Twin Otter arrived in Bern-Belp at the end of May and must be delivered back in the middle of August, Ruag said.

Ruag also announced that, after two years the post, Lukas Braunschweiler will step down as chief executive officer at the end of October. A statement said Ruag's board of directors "regrets his decision" to leave.

Braunschweiler will join Sonova Holding, a Swiss supplier of hearing aids, as chief executive.

Konrad Peter, chairman of Ruag's board of directors, will take on the role of executive chairman and continue to manage the group from November until Braunschweiler's successor is in place. The hunt for a replacement has begun, the company said.

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