Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) recently introduced Hindustan 228, a 19-seater aircraft that can be operated even in semi-prepared and unpaved airstrips, in the first major attempt in India to develop small civil transport aircrafts.
HAL General Manager Apurba Roy was quoted by ANI as saying, “Hindustan 228, the design has been transferred to us from Dornier GmbH. This particular aircraft is under type certification and will have it in the name of Hindustan 228. All the testing parameters have been completed.”
"There is a huge potential for these kinds of aircraft in the market. There are few aircraft in India and across the world that are designed for short-haul travel and can operate on a semi-prepared runway. This aircraft can have many utilities. They can be used as an ambulance, cargo, parajam or paradrop, etc. It is a multi-utility aircraft," he added.
The 19-seater aircraft will have no toilets and if toilets were to be added, the capacity would be reduced to 17 seats, reported ANI.
Notably, the engine of the aircraft is not made in India. Roy said that HAL will be making six more of such aircrafts.
He said, "There is a lot of interest shown from the state governments as well as private parties to make it deployable in the Udaan scheme."