The Dornier Seastar, billed as the world’s most advanced amphibian, was designed to adapt to a variety of missions on both land and sea, and it also will put Diamond Aircraft Industries, Inc. staff to work in Canada.
Diamond announced the deal with Germany's Dornier Seawings, a descendant of the legendary flying boats manufacturer founded by Claude Dornier in 1910. The company produced the first all-metal flying boat four years later. Now, more than a century since Dornier developed that technology, the company has crafted a new generation of flying boat, built to handle a broad range of missions, from search and rescue to scheduled service and VIP transport.
Two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT-6 turboprops provide the power, mounted fore and aft above the wing; the cabin can be configured for luxury with legroom for six passengers or up to 12 with slightly less luxurious commuter seats.
“We’re excited to be producing the airframe for the Dornier Seastar,” said Diamond Aircraft Industries Inc. (Canada) President and CEO Peter Maurer, in a company news release Jan. 29. “It is a sophisticated and substantial aircraft with an MTOW of over 10,000 lbs.”
While that makes it significantly larger than aircraft Diamond produces for its own customers, mainly piston singles and light twins, Maurer said the company is well prepared.
“While the large fuselage and one piece wing are bigger than the typical Diamond components, our production of similarly sized structures for the D-JET program and other contracts, gives us the experience and ability to complete this challenging task,” Maurer said.
Dornier Seawings President and CEO Albert Halder noted in the news release that Diamond has a track record of building high-quality aircraft, and has the resources and experience to do the job.
“We will work very closely with Diamond, with our specialists resident at Diamond’s London facility to oversee the progress, support tooling and process development, and to provide engineering and production liaison with our team in Germany,” Halder said.
The initial contract for building the first 10 aircraft includes options for subsequent units and tooling work to prepare for high-volume production. Delivery of the first airframe to Dornier Seawings for final assembly and production is expected in the second quarter.