Dornier Seawings has gone all in on its plans to launch a line of amphibious aircraft with the announcement Wednesday that it has acquired the Flywhale FW650 assets from Uniplanes GmbH.
The light sport seaplane joins Dornier Seawings’ main project, the Dornier Seastar CD2 inline twin-turboprop amphibian.
“The Flywhale fits very well into our product portfolio given its flying boat configuration and proven design features, such as corrosion-free composites, high wings, and engine as well as sponsons,” said Amy Pan, CEO of Dornier Seawings. “Our mission is to revive the Dornier flying boat tradition with advanced technology to provide our customers with the unique experience of superior mobility that combines water, land and air operation.”
Dornier Seawings anticipates that it will market the two-seat aircraft worldwide under the model designation Dornier DS-2C.
Specs on the DS-2C
The light sport category seaplane is projected to travel at speeds up to 220 km/h (119 knots, below the LSA maximum), with a range of greater than 1,000 km (540 nm).
The maximum takeoff weight will be 650 kg (1,433 lbs, also per the LSA category) and takeoff and land in 320 m (1,050 ft).
Joining the Seastar, Jet eVTOL
The company launched its re-entry into the flying boat scene in 2016, when it announced a partnership with Diamond Aircraft in Canada to build the composite airframe components for the CD2 turboprop. The aircraft features two Pratt & Whitney PT6A powerplants, also manufactured in eastern Canada.
No mention yet of what powerplant will drive the single-engine DS-2C.
The Seastar made its first flight on March 23, 2020, from the Oberpfaffenhofen EDMO airport in Germany.
The company plans to leverage what it learns from the development of the DS-2C into its top-line project in the advanced air mobility space, the DS-2C-X-eVTOL amphibious light jet. Dornier is exploring multiple options for powering the eVTOL, including:
- Fully battery-powered electric
- Hybrid electric
- Hydrogen electric
- Hybrid using alternative fuels
Dornier Seawings is a joint venture with two state-owned Chinese entities based in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province.