BUSINESS

Habibie Invites Indonesians to Contribute to R80 Plane Development

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Former president B.J. Habibie (JP/Wendra Ajistyatama)

In an effort to attract participants, the names of those who contributed Rp100,000 [US$7.42] to the project will be placed on the prototype of the aircraft.

Former president B.J. Habibie has invited Indonesians to contribute financially to the development of an 80-seat passenger plane, the R80, which he had designed.

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As part of the program, PT Regio Aviasi Industry (RAI), a company established by Habibie and his son, Ilham Habibie, is cooperating with digital platform kitabisa.com.

“If we failed to develop the R80, it would be the end of our aircraft industry; there would be no human resources because [the people] are not motivated,” Habibie said in Jakarta on Thursday as reported by tempo.co.

Construction of the propeller-driven aircraft will reportedly involve around 1,000 engineers.

Kitabisa.com CEO Alfatih Timur welcomed Habibie’s invitation to collaborate.

“We are enthusiastic because it will show that we still have the spirit of gotong royong [teamwork],” Alfatih said.

In an effort to attract participants, the names of those who contributed Rp100,000 [US$7.42] to the project will be placed on the prototype of the aircraft.

After three weeks, the campaign has so far collected Rp425 million, but Alfatih said that donations were not the main source of funding for the project.

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RAI president director Agung Nugroho said the R80 was currently in the preliminary design phase and needed about six years of development before it could fly.

“Then the planes will go through various tests for about two years. We can start selling the planes in 2025,” Agung said.

Habibie is among the main founders of state-owned aerospace firm PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI). (bbn, The Jakarta Post)

 

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