Dornier Seawings, a German designer and manufacturer of amphibious aircraft, has been garnering buzz for the new edition of its “Seastar” – an all-composite, amphibious aircraft produced by Diamond Aircraft. Diamond Aircraft has a great deal of experience with all-composite aircraft, having last year produced the DART-450 – an all-carbon fiber tandem, 2-seat aerobatic civilian trainer.
Last month, Dornier held a private event where it rolled out the new Seastar to an audience of 250 people, comprised of company shareholders, suppliers and employees.
The Seater features a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of over 10,000 lbs and capacity to carry 2 crew plus up to 12 passengers. Marketed as the world’s most advanced amphibious aircraft, the Seater features a purpose-built design, modern technology all-composite corrosion-free airframe, modern glass cockpit, retractable tricycle landing gear and twin centerline mounted industry leading Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 turboprop engines. Dornier notes the corrosion resistance of the composite frame makes gives the Seastar protection in saltwater environments.
Dornier says the Seastar’s “intelligent and integrated structure” is designed for long structural life and high damage tolerance, reducing maintenance cost and downtime. Composites also help prevent any leakage caused by rivets and bolts as commonly experienced by metal airframes.
During the August event, Dornier Seawings CEO Amy Pan noted the company plans to target China with the release of the Seastar.
“As the market in China opens up and develops further, the Seastar will be able to seize opportunities there and play a significant role in the general aviation industry on a global scale,” Pan said.