Local February 28, 2024 | 9:30 am

President Abinader introduces ‘Dulus’ aircraft for training and border patrol

Santo Domingo.- President Luis Abinader has revealed the initiation of aircraft manufacturing in the Dominican Republic in 2023, primarily for the training of new pilots and border patrolling. These aircraft, capable of executing various military training maneuvers and silent patrol missions, will find their deployment at the Barahona air base, enhancing border security.

Manufactured in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Air Force, these aircraft bear the name “Dulus” in honor of the national bird, the palm cigua, scientifically known as “Dulus dominicus.”

The characteristics of these aircraft, as per the Air Force, include:

  • Primary use for training new pilots and patrolling missions.
  • Equipped with a 141 horsepower Rotax 915iS turbocharged engine, featuring two computers regulating engine parameters, renowned for its low operating cost of $60 per hour in contrast to the T-35B “PILLAN” training aircraft’s operational cost of $500 per hour currently in the institution’s possession.
  • The TP-75 aircraft boasts a unit cost of US$325,000.00 compared to the T-35B’s US$475,000.00 unit cost at the time of its purchase in 1999.
  • Additional features of the TP-75 “DULUS” include being a light acrobatic aircraft with retractable gear, conventional fuel usage, a flight time of 5 hours and 30 minutes (extendable to 7 hours with external tanks), a cruising speed of 150 knots, and an operational ceiling of 12,000 feet.
  • Safety features encompass an integrated parachute for emergencies and an audible alarm warning the pilot of potential lift loss or proximity to the ground.
  • State-of-the-art avionics with touch screens and autopilot facilitate operation.
  • The TP-75 Dulus is capable of instrument flights and night flights.
  • A version equipped with a turbine is currently in development, and evaluations for weapon integration and the potential for unmanned aircraft are ongoing with aerospace engineers.

The introduction of these aircraft will significantly augment the operational capabilities and responsiveness of the Dominican Republic Air Force in the southern region and along the country’s border. Multiple aircraft will be allocated to the Southern Air Command based in the Barahona Air Base, further fortifying the nation’s security measures.

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