Hindustan-228 is a multi-purpose, light-weight, twin turboprop aircraft, modified by HAL to operate on short haul air routes
By Vikas Gupta
Defence News of India, 18th Jan 24
With the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO’s) emphasising the need to boost regional air connectivity, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) will showcase its indigenous civil aircraft at the Wings India 2024 air show that begins on Thursday at Begumpet Airport, Hyderabad.
“[HAL] is leveraging its strengths in manufacturing aircraft like the Dornier–228 and HS-748 Avro, and extending its capabilities to civil aircraft programmes like the Regional Transport Aircraft. HAL is also actively pursuing collaborations for undertaking civil MRO activities,” says HAL chief, CB Ananthakrishnan.
The Hindustan-228 aircraft, a modified version of the Dornier-228, is a multi-purpose, light-weight, twin turboprop aircraft. It has been indigenised by HAL to operate on short haul air routes under the Regional Connectivity Scheme, UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik).
The Hindustan-228 which HAL builds in Kanpur, can be configured for a variety of roles. It can function as a regional airliner/air taxi, VIP/executive transport, search and rescue, casualty evacuation/ambulance, cargo and logistics support, calibration of airport navigation aids, geographical surveys and aerial photography.
Its current configuration includes a fully digital glass cockpit, upgraded avionics and systems. The aircraft has been type-certified by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). In September, the defence ministry accorded clearance for further upgrading the avionics of Dornier aircraft to improve their accuracy and reliability for operations.
Also on display will be the upgraded civil Dhruv advanced light helicopter (ALH) – a 5.5 tonne, twin engine helicopter, designed and developed by HAL to meet the government’s Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS). It can be configured to perform various roles, such as disaster management, search and rescue (SAR), heli-tourism, ferrying VIPs and underslung loads.
HAL has also taken the initiative to develop a civil variant of the single-engine Light Utility Helicopter (LUH). DGCA certification for this is expected by December 2025.