Most often selling an aircraft takes a long time, with many responses back and forth to overcome challenges by the customer. But sometimes a lucky break comes along. This is such a story.
RUAG Aviation is based in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany where they build an aircraft that started life as the Dornier 228. Last week, en-route back to Germany from its first demo tour to Latin America, its crew were contacted by the Praia, Cape Verde airport when the air traffic control tower identified it as the only aircraft in the vicinity of a missing kayak. The aircraft was seven hours in flight and approaching Cape Verde to refuel.
RUAG test pilot and commander Franz Huber said: “Once the tower relayed the coordinates, we programmed our flight management system and began the programmed search pattern. When the location failed to reveal a SAR subject, the tower relayed an adjusted set of coordinates and we repeated the procedure there. Our sensors received a 20-second acoustic burst providing our instrumentation with the necessary final course adjustment. Thanks to the Dornier 228’s high maneuverability we were able to react immediately and position the aircraft directly above the location which had emitted the distress signal. The bubble windows and the unobstructed down view allow excellent situational awareness and enabled us to see the kayaker’s flare as it was deployed.”
Ruag product manager Fabian Kölliker added: “Fortunately this aircraft is one of the most suitable types for this kind of mission and it happened to be in the right place, at the right time, and in the right configuration to provide the necessary support.”
RUAG has this release on the story. Having your demo aircraft successfully undertake an emergency SAR like this is the sales team’s dream. In terms of selling the 228, RUAG now has great evidence of their aircraft’s capabilities with no warning or preparation. RUAG’s sales team has a great story to tell.
The 228 is a neat aircraft – check out RUAG’s videos here. Dornier produced the aircraft from 1981 through 1998. The original company is closed, but the 228 lives on made by RUAG. The Dornier name is an aerospace legend. And the legend lives on.