Diamond Aircraft (London, Ontario) is adding 40 employees to its staff after winning work from Germany’s Dornier Seastar Aircraft. The name Dornier is legendary and pivotal to the history of seaplanes. Diamond faced turbulence five years ago that forced it to shed much of its staff. Diamond laid off half its 400 workers in 2010 after the Canadian federal government refused a request for a $35m loan to aid in developing its D-jet, a personal jet.
The company announced the deal to make the all composite airframe for the Dornier Seastar, a 12-passenger amphibious plane. Diamond will manufacture the fuselage, wings and tail for the Seastar, which is assembled in Germany.
The Seastar is the world’s most advanced amphibious aircraft, featuring a purpose built design, modern technology all composite corrosion-free airframe, glass cockpit, retractable tri-cycle gear and twin centreline mounted Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 engines.
The initial contract, for the manufacture of the first ten shipsets, with options for subsequent units, includes significant tooling work to ready the Seastar for higher volume production.
“We selected Diamond for several reasons”, said Dr. Albert Halder, President and CEO of Dornier Seawings GmbH. “Diamond was responsive to our needs, has the necessary experience, resources and facilities and their airplanes are known for their high build quality. We will work very closely with Diamond, with our specialists resident at Diamond’s London facility to oversee the progress, support tooling and process development, and to provide engineering and production liaison with our team in Germany.