With its many islands, Indonesia has a great need for air transport to connect people across the whole country. A new aircraft is underway in Indonesia to meet these specific needs. It’s being built by state-owned manufacturer Indonesian Aerospace. We talked to chief test pilot, Captain Esther Saleh, about the N219.

The N219 Nurtanio is designed to carry 19 passengers and has the largest cabin cross section of its class, Indonesian Aerospace says. It uses an advanced Garmin avionics suite, and has a wide door to accommodate many configurations. As well as passenger journeys, the aircraft can be used for troop transport, medical evacuation, cargo, surveillance, search and rescue, and more.

Saleh explained: “[The N219] is designed to meet the needs of a shorter runway in the islands and we have successfully done our first flight on August 16 [2017].”

Saleh expects the aircraft to go to market by 2019 and says the company is eyeing international as well as domestic customers.

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