Isle of Wight aircraft maker Britten-Norman is resuming production of its Trislander propeller-powered commuter aircraft after 16 years to supply the Chinese market.
China Northern Airlines has ordered three of the 16-passenger, three-engine aircraft, worth a total of $4.8m. China aims to revitalise its short-haul domestic routes. Britten-Norman said that the Trislander piston-engine plane was ideally suited to China’s need for high-frequency operation on short routes and operation from grass airstrips.
The Trislander went out of production in 1983 shortly after the company was bought by Pilatus. Last year Britten-Norman was sold to US conglomerate Biofarm and then bought Romaero, a Bucharest-based subcontractor which has supplied fuselages for 25 years.