The Dornier 228 is a small twin-engine turboprop regional airliner and utility aircraft of which the biggest version seats up to 19 passengers.
The German aircraft manufacturer Dornier (in later years part of DASA and Fairchild) began development of the 228 in the late 1970s, after it designed a new kind of wing, the so-called 'TNT' (Tragflügel neuer Technologie - new technogy aerofoil). Dornier first tested the wing on a modified Do 28D-2 Skyservant, but later developed new fuselages for a 15- and a 19-seat aircraft, which became the Dornier 228-100 and Dornier 228-200. The prototypes were first flown on 28 March 1981 and 9 May 1981 respectively. German certification followed on 18 December 1981 and in July 1982 the Norwegian regional airline Norving became the first airline operating the type.
Passengers sit two-abreast (1+1) in a non-pressurised cabin. There are baggage compartments in the nose and in the rear of the aircraft, behind the passenger cabin. The Dornier 228 has a high wing, but not a T-tail. The two engines, Garrett AiResearch TPE-331-5 turboprops, are mounted under the wing. Dornier applied composite materials in several parts of the airframe, including the upper wing skin, the tail and the nose. The 228 is a versatile aircraft. It can be used as a regional airliner but also for special missions like maritime surveillance, border patrol, environmental protection, medical evacuation and paradropping.
Dornier built several improved versions with higher weights and reinforced airframe as 228-101 and 228-201. The 228-202 is a version built under licence by Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) in India. The 228-212 is a further improved version with higher takeoff weight, a lower empty weight, new avionics and better STOL characteristics.
The Dornier 228 remained in production in Germany until 1998, when Fairchild-Dornier concentrated its activities on the bigger 328. Dornier and HAL built a total of around 270 aircraft.
In 2009, RUAG started in Oberpfaffenhofen the construction of the first Dornier 228NG (New Generation) in Germany with a fuselage, wings and tail section manufactured by HAL. The NG has a new five blade composite blade propeller, a glass cockpit, more powerful engines and extra range. RUAG received EASA certification for the 228NG in August 2010 and delivered the first aircraft in September 2010.
However, after building eight aircraft RUAG suspended production, but it restarted assembly in 2015 with the intention to produce four aircraft a year from 2016, or more if there is demand.