Indonesia is going to try again to enter the turboprop market. In the 1990’s they had a project called IPTN N250 which was not successful. Only two were built before the Asian financial crisis stopped the project in 1997. But in aerospace, hope springs eternal.
Recently a report indicated a revival of the concept, and the revised idea is quite a step forward. Indeed the CEO of the firm heading the project has described the new project as “better“. Well he has to.
The planned R80 is expected to seat up to 92 (2+2) and this places it squarely in competition with the Bombardier Q400 and ATR 72-600. First flight is planned for 2017. The aircraft is reported to have advanced technologies too. Interestingly, we note there are orders for the aircraft reported – 145 orders made up from 100 from NAM Air, 25 from Kal Star and 20 from Trigana Air. Not exactly familiar names, but a nice backlog for a start.
The aircraft may have either Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PW150A and the Rolls-Royce AE2100 for engines. Fly-by-wire flight control system, and its flight deck will feature large touchscreen displays.
PT Ragio Aviasi Industri (RAI), the project lead, plans first delivery in 2019. Besides Indonesian certification, FAA and EASA certificates will also be sought. Meanwhile RAI is looking for $400m in investment. The aircraft has a projected build cost of “US$500,000 to $700,000“. This is an ambitious project by a team that last undertook something similar 19 years ago.