This twin-engine Dornier research aircraft serves as a carrier system for flight tests and experiments for German Aerospace Center (DLR) institutes and numerous external customers. The DO 228-212 was developed as a civilian feeder aircraft; its modern, efficient wing design enables high cruising speeds, short take-off and landing distances, and a long flight range.
A wide range of possible applications
The design of this DLR aircraft makes it an ideal platform for airborne research. Due to the DO 228-212's simple, robust design and its two powerful turbo-prop engines, the aircraft is outstandingly versatile, and is able to operate on short and even unpaved runways.
In order to record meteorological data (temperature, pressure, humidity and wind), DO 228-212 can be fitted with a nose boom, as well as a sensor package installed in the baggage compartment. Due to its twin-engine layout and long flight range, extended over-water missions and low-level flights are possible.
The aircraft's rectangular fuselage is ideal for installing scientific equipment and greatly simplifies the fitting of external attachments (for example, radar antennas).
Despite its lack of a pressurised cabin, the DO 228-212's oxygen system (for both the flight deck and the cabin) enables the aircraft to conduct measurements at over 10,000 feet (approximately 3000 metres) and reach altitudes of up to 25,000 feet. External loads, such as sensors, radar antennas or probes, can be attached to hard-points on the fuselage and on the wings. Two camera ports installed in the cabin floor also allow the use of camera systems, affording an unrestricted view of Earth’s surface.
Computers for conducting experiments can be accommodated in specially manufactured racks within the rectangular fuselage, while the onboard electrical system supplies the necessary power.
The Dornier 228-212 supports DLR's research flight operations and has been part of the Flight Experiments facility's aircraft fleet since 1991. This large-scale facility has proven to be robust and reliable; its equipment has been constantly modernised over the years, allowing the aircraft to address a wide range of future applications.