A true seaplane that easily handles fresh or salt-water swells up to two and a half feet, the Seastar and its all-composite construction is virtually impervious to corrosion.
The Dornier Seaplane Company didn’t become the world leader in the aeromarine industry by mistake. The family tradition of cutting-edge innovation and engineering excellence in amphibious aviation dates back three generations to the early 20th century, when founder and pioneer Claude Dornier’s vision and technological skill propelled Dornier into its place as the world leader in the advancement of metal aircraft and flying boats.
Born in Kempten, Germany, in 1884, Claude’s early career as an engineer in metal construction and super-structures provided him with an excellent background for his later involvement in aircraft construction. After graduating from the Munich Institute of Technology, in 1910, and a brief stint with the Graf Zeppelin Company, Claude fell in love with aviation and branched off to form his own company. In 1929 he built the Do-X, the world’s largest passenger plane. In the face of vast skepticism concerning the plane’s practicality, the massive 12-engined craft flew from Germany to New York in 1931 and stood as a symbol of Dornier’s assurance.
While the eponymous Claude set the stage for the future of Dornier Company’s unwavering success, it was his eldest son, Professor Claudius Dornier Jr., who paved the way in the generalized modernization of the developing company.
In 1982, after Claudius retired as long-time chairman of the Dornier group of companies, he immediately started preliminary developmental work on an amphibious aircraft that guaranteed to change the course of aviation history. The professor’s vision was to restart amphibious aviation via a radically new aircraft with a modern design that would overcome the two major shortcomings preventing the existing fleet from expanding beyond its present size: corrosion and lack of sea worthiness.
As he saw rapid progress in the development, he began with the design of the Seastar as an all-composite, 14-seat, multi-role, twin-engine, amphibious flying boat. The design of this aircraft would encompass the experiential features gained from thousands of flying hours and flight missions by Dornier flying boats since the mid-1910s.
In 1986, Conrado Dornier took over the program from his late father and managed its development. Four years later, Conrado completed his father’s vision: obtaining the type certificates by both the German and the U.S. aviation authorities for an all-composite commercial aircraft, the very first of its kind. The resulting Seastar craft represents the unique know-how and experience accumulated at Dornier in decades of designing, producing, and operating flying boats.
The Seastar is the first new amphibious seaplane introduced in the last 50 years. It is the latest member of the “Wal” family of flying boats, ranging from the two-seat “Libelle” to the 169-seat “Do-X.” The Seastar is an FAA- and EASA-certified amphibian capable of landing on runways or water. A true seaplane that easily handles fresh or salt-water swells up to two and a half feet, the Seastar and its all-composite construction is virtually impervious to corrosion. Its powered by two reliable Pratt & Whitney PT6 turboprop engines that give it a high cruising speed of 180 ktas. The in-line design of the twin-engines provides an additional measure of safety during operation. Unlike its competitors, which require extensive modification and float attachments for water operations, the Seastar is a purpose-built aircraft.
With the largest cabin in its class, capable of carrying up to 12 passengers in a commuter configuration, the Seastar’s six-passenger executive interior and fully enclosed lavatory assures that passengers will ride in luxurious comfort.
Dornier Seaplane Company continues a century of family tradition in aviation. While the engineering core of the company remains in Germany, the production, sales and customer support are stationed in America to form the nucleus of the world’s premier center of excellence for amphibious aviation, continuing Dornier’s tradition of innovation in aerospace.
Dornier Seaplane Company
4200 NW 145th Street
Miami, FL 33054