Dornier Seawings is making a splash at MEBAA as it seeks to awareness within the UAE of its new-generation Seastar CD2 amphibian.
“This is an ideal venue for us to promote our latest aircraft and to connect with potential customers across private, corporate, charter, government and special missions sectors,” says Simon Schell, Dornier Seawings manager for technical sales support.
Schell believes the Seastar is ideally suited to the region and water-based operations could become a fixture, “particularly along the UAE seafront”.
Dornier says the region for private, business and luxury jets has grown over the past three years by around 7%. These numbers, it says “confirms the importance of this market” for the Seastar.
The iconic twin-engined turboprop was relaunched at the Singapore air show in February, 25 years after the programme – certificated by the USA and Germany in 1991 – was mothballed due to a paucity of funding. It was acquired in 2013 by Chinese companies Wuxi Industrial Development and Wuxi Communications Industry, although the Dornier family still retains a minority stake in the firm.
Dornier has introduced a number of fresh features to the aircraft, including a five-blade high-performance propeller, designed by MT; a Honeywell Primus Epic 2.0 glass flight deck; and a landing gear, supplied by Sumitomo of Japan.
Diamond Aircraft Industries (Canada) is building the composite parts including the fuselage, wings and flight control surfaces. The first structures are scheduled to arrive at Dornier’s facility in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany shortly.
The completed aircraft will be rolled out in June and is expected to perform its maiden sortie in the third quarter. European, US and Chinese type certification are slated for 2018 with deliveries to begin soon after. Dornier is also building a final assembly plant in Wuxi, eastern China, which will house series production of the Seastar and should be completed next year.