Dornier Seawings Seastar Makes First Flight

The composite amphibious aircraft is the latest from the German manufacturer.

The Seastar CD2 made a successful first flight on March 28 in Germany.Dornier Seawings

While you might know the workhorse Dornier 228 and 328 turboprops, you might not be aware that the company has a long history developing amphibious aircraft. Dornier brings that heritage back to the forefront with its most recent announcement: the Seastar CD2 has made a successful first flight in Germany on March 28.

The Seastar is the product of Dornier Seawings, a joint venture between Dornier and two state-owned Chinese enterprises based in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, China. The test flight utilizing the prototype—serial number 1003—was conducted from the Oberpfaffenhofen EDMO Airport (OBF) in Germany, and it lasted 31 minutes. The foundation for the design was an original Seastar developed by Claudius Dornier, Jr., in the 1980s.

Wolfram Cornelius, chief test pilot for Dornier Seawings, said, “First flight was completed successfully and confirmed the nice handling qualities of the Seastar. All systems functioned correctly. The advanced avionic[s] system reflects the state-of-the-art in cockpit design and is a good baseline for future development.”

The joint venture seeks to enhance short- and medium-haul trips at a lower cost and reduced flight time, yet with higher capacity, efficiency, and safety. The Seastar is projected to have a maximum takeoff weight of 5,100 kg (11,220 pounds), a maximum cruise speed of 180 ktas, and a range of roughly 900 nm.

The Dornier Museum in Friedrichshafen offers an in-depth look at the company’s 100-year history.