Nepal took delivery of its first CN235-220 military transport aircraft made by Indonesian aircraft manufacturer PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) on Wednesday.
The plane was flown from the Husein Sastranegara Airbase in Bandung, West Java, on Wednesday and is scheduled to arrive in Kathmandu on Saturday, PTDI Director Elfien Goentoro stated at PTDI's fixed wing hangar in Bandung.
The CN235-220 aircraft was flown by Captain Esther Gayatri Saleh, as the test pilot in command, and flight instructor and Captain Ervan Gustanto, as the co-pilot. The Nepalese Army is expected to conduct a subsequent flight test and final acceptance flight after the plane arrives in Nepal.
The plane was built in line with a US$30-million contract inked with the Nepalese Army in June 2017, Antara News reported.
The aircraft has six configuration modes -- transport, cargo, paratroop, medevac, maritime patrol, and also VIP -- applicable in accordance with the need, he explained. Nepal ordered the aircraft with several configuration modes. The complementary facilities of the configuration mode were delivered to Nepal earlier by a cargo aircraft, he revealed.
Though it is a single aircraft order, PDTI expects more from Nepal as the aircraft is integrated into the Nepalese Army.
The CN235-220 is an improved version of the basic CN-225 and built in Indonesia. Improvements include higher operating weights, aerodynamic improvements to wing leading-edges and rudder, reduced airfield length requirements and increased range. The CN235 is an joint venture between CASA and PTDI with some versions made in Spain and some in Indonesia.