Ruag finds buyers: the Dornier 228 becomes American

The classic turboprop comes into new hands. The Swiss state company Ruag has sold the Dornier 228 to a company from the USA.

Ruag had big plans. 18 years ago, the state-owned Swiss defense company bought the maintenance and production departments of the Dornier 228 from the bankruptcy estate of Fairchild Dornier, which went down in 2002. The German turboprop classic was to become a bestseller, completely renewed.

But the new edition of the aircraft with the same fuselage and wings as the original, but a new glass cockpit, was not a success. Only a few dozen copies were built in Oberpfaffenhofen, Bavaria. In June 2019 wrote Therefore Ruag the program for sale out.

Expansion in Oberpfaffenhofen planned

Now the Swiss state-owned company has found a buyer for the maintenance, repair and production of the Dornier 228. General Atomics Europe will take over all business activities in Oberpfaffenhofen. This also includes maintenance work for private planes and military aircraft, said Ruag on Friday (October 16). All 450 employees would be taken over.

General Atomics Europe is a subsidiary of the American technology group General Atomics. He is best known for the manufacture of military drones and nuclear power plants. “We are convinced of the great potential of this company and its employees and want to develop Oberpfaffenhofen further into the European aviation core of the General Atomics Europe Group,” said Harald Robl, General Atomics Europe Managing Director, on the purchase of the Ruag business.

Model from the eighties

There is also a change in strategy behind Ruag’s exit. The Swiss government has decided to split the group into a national and an international part. The international business is to be focused and privatized later.

The original Dornier 228 from the traditional Dornier company made its maiden flight in 1981 and was built until 1998. It offers space for 19 passengers and has a range of around 845 kilometers, a maximum speed of 413 kilometers per hour and stol capabilities, so it can take off and land on short runways. The Indian Hindustan Aeronautics has also been manufacturing the aircraft under license as the Hal 228 since the 1980s.

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