The aircraft is a means of transportation which has a very important meaning for economic and defense development, especially realizing that Indonesia being an island-state with a geographical condition which is difficult to penetrate without adequate means of transportation. From the above mentioned condition, comes the thought that as an island-state Indonesia is in the position to have maritime and aviation industries. This has led to the birth of an aircraft industry in Indonesia.
II. NATIONAL EFFORTS OF AIRCRAFT BUILDING
Since mithology of Indonesians puppetry developed in the cultural life of the Indonesians and the figure of Gatotkaca became a legendary figure as the ‘flying hero’, the desire of the Indonesians to have the ability to fly had ever since urgedly motivated.
The Dutch colonnial government era did not have any aircraft design programme, instead they carried out a series of activities related to licence making, and technical and safety evaluations for all aircraft operated throughout Indonesia. In 1914, the Flight Test Section (Bagian Uji Terbang) was founded in Surabaya with the task to to study aircraft flight performance in tropical region. Then in 1930, it was followed by the establishment of the Aircraft Production Section (Bagian Pembuatan Pesawat Udara) which produced the Canadian AVRO-AL aircraft, of which the modified fuselage made of local wood. This manufacturing facility was later moved to Lapangan Udara Andir or the Andir Airfield (now Husein Sastranegara Airport).
It was in this period that the interest to make aircraft developed within privately-owned workshops.
In 1937, eight years prior to the Indonesian Independence, due to the request of a local businessman, some Indonesian youths, led by Tossin built an aircraft at a workshop located in Jl. Pasirkaliki, Bandung. They named the aircraft PK. KKH. This aircraft had once surprised the then aviation world due to its ability to fly to the Netherlands and the mainland of Chine vice versa. Prior to this, around the 1922, the Indonesian had even been involved in the modification of an aircraft at a private house in Jl. Cikapundung, Bandung.
In 1938, on the request of LW. Walraven and MV. Patist - designers of PK. KKH - a smaller aircraft was built in at workshop in Jl. Kebon Kawung, Bandung.
Soon after the Indonesian Independence was proclaimed in 1945, the chance for the Indonesians to realize their dream to build aircraft of their own plan and need was widely open. Since that time the Indonesians began to deeply realize that as an island-state Indonesia would always require means of air transportation for the smooth-running of the government, economic development and national defense.
In 1946, the Planning & Construction Bureau was founded at the TRI-Udara or Indonesian Air Force (now called TNI-AU). Sponsored by Wiweko Supono, Nurtanio Pringgoadisurjo, and Sumarsono, a special workshop was established in Magetan, near Madiun, East Java. Out of simple materials a number of Zogling, NWG-1 light aircraft (pesawat layang) were made. The making of these aircraft also involved Tossin, supported by Ahmad, cs. Six in number, the aircraft were utilized for developing the aviation interest among the Indonesians and at the same time introducing the aviation world to pilot candidates who were prepared to follow aviation training in India.
Then in 1948 they succeeded in making the first engine-aircraft, powered by Harley Davidson engine, called WEL-X. Designed by Wiweko Supono the aircraft was then known as RI-X.
This era was marked by the emergence of a number of aeromodelling clubs which led to the birth of our aviation technology pioneer called Nurtanio Pringgoadisuryo.
But they had had to stop this activity due to the communist Madiun Rebellion and the Dutch aggression.
In this period the aviation activity was primarily carried out as part of the physical revolution for the national freedom. Here the available aircraft were modified for combat missions. Agustinus Adisutjipto was the most remarkable figure in this period, who designed and flight-tested an aircraft as well as flew it in real air battle. He modified the Cureng aircraft into ground-attack version.
After the Dutch occupational era had come to an end the above mentioned activity was then continued in Bandung an the Andir airfield - later known as Husein Sastranegara Airport. In 1953 the activity was institutionalized into Seksi Percobaan (Trial Section). Manned by 15 members, the Seksi Percobaan was under the supervision of Komando Depot Perawatan Teknik Udara, led by Air Major Nurtanio Pringgoadisurjo.
Based on Nurtanio’s design, in August 1, 1954, the section succeeded to fly the prototype of ‘Si Kumbang’, an all-metal, single-seated aircraft. It was made in three units.
On April, 24, 1957, by the virtue of the Head of Staff of Indonesian Air Force Decree No. 68, the Seksi Percobaan was enhanced into a bigger organization called Sub Depot Penyelidikan, Percobaan & Pembuatan.
In the following year, 1958, the prototype of the basic trainer "Belalang 89" was successfully flown. As serial production the aircraft was called Belalang 90 and it was made in 5 units, and they were utilized top train pilot candidates at Akademi Angkatan Udara & Pusat Penerbangan Angkatan Darat (Academy of Air Force & Center of Army Aviation) In the same year, the sport aircraft "Kunang 25" was flown. The philosophy of this aircraft was to motivate the Indonesia’s young generation who were interested in the area of aircraft making.
To enhance their aeronautical background, during period 1960''s - 1964, Nurtanio and three other colleauge were sent to Far Eastern Air Transport Incorporated (FEATI) Philippines, one of the first aeronautical university in Asia. After completing their study, they return to Bandung to work for LAPIP.
III. EFFORTS TO ESTABLISH AN AIRCRAFT INDUSTRY
In line with the already obtained achievements and in order to enable it to develop faster, by virtue of the Head of Staff of Indonesian Air Force Decree No 488, August, 1960, the Lembaga Persiapan Industri Penerbangan (LAPIP) or the Body for Preparation of Aviation Industry was therefore established. Inaugurated on December 16, 1961, the body had the function of preparing the establishment of an aviation industry with the ability to support national aviation activities in Indonesia.
Relating to this, in 1961 LAPIP signed a cooperation agreement with CEKOP, a Polish aircraft industry, to build an aircraft industry in Indonesia. The contract covered the building of an aircraft manufacturing facility, H R training and producing, under license, the PZL-104 Wilga, which was later known as Gelatik (rice bird). The aircraft which was serially produced in 44 units was utilized to support agricultural activities, light transport and aero-club.
At almost the same period, 1965, through a Presidencial Decree, KOPELAPIP (Komando Pelaksana Industri Pesawat Terbang) or Executive Command for Preparation of Aviation Industry and PN. Industri Pesawat Terbang Berdikari (Berdikari Aircraft Industry) were founded.
In March 1966, Nurtanio died while flight testing an aircraft, and in order to commemorate his valuable contribution to his country and nation, the KOPELAPIP and PN. Industri Pesawat Terbang Berdikari was then merged into LIPNUR/Lembaga Industri Penerbangan Nurtanio or Nurtanio Aviation Industrial Institution. In its further development LIPNUR produced a basic trainer aircraft called LT-200 and built workshops for after-sales-services, maintenance and repair & overhauls.
In 1962, based in a Presidencial Decree, the Teknik Penerbangan ITB (ITB Aviation Technique Section) was established as part of the available Machine Department. Oetarjo Diran and Liem Keng Kie were pioneers of this aviation section. These two figures were among those included in the Overseas Student Scholarship Programme. Initiated in 1958, through this programme, a number of Indonesian students were sent abroad (Europe and the United States).
In the meantime some other efforts in pioneering the establishment of an aircraft industry had also been continuously carried out by an Indonesian youth - B.J. Habibie - from 1964 to the 1970s.
IV. ESTABLISHMENT OF INDONESIAN AVIATION INDUSTRY
Five main factors that led towards the establishment of IPTN are: There were some Indonesians who had since along time dreamed to build aircraft and established an aircraft industry in Indonesia; some Indonesians who had the mastery the science and technology to build aircraft and the aircraft industry; some Indonesians who, beside mastered the needed science and technology they were also highly dedicated to utilize their expertise for the establishment of an aircraft industry; some Indonesians who were experts in marketing and selling aircraft for both national and international scopes; political will from the ruling Government.
The harmonize integration of the above mentioned factors had made IPTN an aircraft industry with adequate facilities.
It all initiated with Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie, a man who was born in Pare-pare, South Sulawesi (Celebes), on June 25, 1936. He was graduated from Aachen Technical High Learning, Aircraft Construction Department, and later worked at MBB (Masserschmitt Bolkow Blohm), an aircraft industry in Germany since 1965.
When he was about to get his doctoral degree, in 1964, he had a strong willing to return to his country to participate in the Indonesian development program in the area of aviation industry. But the management of KOPELAPIP suggested him to continue seeking for more experience, while waiting for the possibility of establishing an aircraft industry. In 1966, when Adam Malik, the then Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs visited Germany, he asked Habibie to contribute his thoughts for the realization of the Indonesian Development.
Realizing that the efforts of establishing an aircraft industry would not be possibly done by him alone, Habibie made up his mind to start pioneering to prepare high-skilled manpower that at the appointed time could any time be employed by the future aircraft industry in Indonesia. Soon Habibie set up a voluntarily team. And in early 1970 the team was sent to Germany to start working and studying science and technology in the aviation field at HFB/MBB, where Habibie worked, to carry out their initial planning.
At the same period, similar activity was also pioneered by Pertamina (Indonesian Oil Company) in its capacity as Indonesian development agent. With such a capacity Pertamina succeeded in establishing the Krakatau Steel Industry. Ibnu Sutowo, the then Pertamina President contributed his thought that transfer technology process from developed countries should be carried out with a clear concept and national-oriented.
In early December 1973, Ibnu Sutowo met with Habibie in Dusseldorf, Germany, in which he gave an elaborate explanation to Habibie concerning the Indonesian Development, Pertamina with the dream of founding an aircraft industry in Indonesia. The result of the meeting was the appointment of Habibie as Advisor to Pertamina President, and he was requested to immediately return to Indonesia.
In Early January 1974, a decisive step towards the establishment of the aircraft industry had been taken. The first realization was the establishment a new division which specialized in advanced technology and aviation technology affairs. Two months after the Dusseldorf meeting, on January 26, 1974 Habibie was called by President Soeharto. At the meeting Habibie was appointed as Advisor to President in the area of technology. This was the first day for Habibie to start his official mission.
These meetings resulted in the birth of the ATTP (Advanced Technology & Teknologi Penerbangan Pertamina) Division which became the milestone for the establishment of BPPT and part of that of IPTN.
In September 1974, ATTP signed the basic agreement for license cooperation with MBB, Germany and CASA, Spain for the production of the BO-105 helicopter and the NC-212 fixed wing aircraft.
When the efforts of the establishment has shown its form there was a problem faced by Pertamina which influenced to the existence of ATTP, its project and program i.e. aircraft industry. But realizing that the ATTP Division and its project was a vehicle to prepare the Indonesians to ‘take-off’ for the Pelita VI, so the Government decided to continue the establishment of an aircraft industry with all its consequenses.
Based on this, by the virtue of Government Regulation No. 12, April 5, 1976, the preparation of an aircraft industry was made. Through this regulation all the available assets, facilities and potencies were accumulated covering Pertamina assets, the ATTP Division which had been prepared for the establishment of an aircraft industry with the assets LIPNUR, the Indonesian Air Force, as the basic capital for the aircraft industry. This basic capital was hoped to support the growth of an aircraft industry being able to answer all challenges.
On April 26, 1976 , based on the Notary Act No. 15, in Jakarta, the PT. Industri Pesawat Terbang Nurtanio was officially established with Dr. BJ. Habibie as its President Director. When the physical facilities of this industry was completed , on August 1976 President Soeharto inaugurated this aircraft industry.
On October 11, 1985, PT. Industri Pesawat Terbang Nurtanio was removed to the PT. Industri Pesawat Terbang Nusantara or IPTN.
It was from this point that the new firmament of the growth of a modern and complete aircraft industry in Indonesia had just begun. And it was in this period that all aspects of infrastructure, facilities, human resources, law and regulations, and those relating and supporting the existence of the aircraft industry was integrately organized. Previously, In the 1960s and 1970s this had never been seriously thought of. Apart from that, the industry developed a progressive technology and industrial transformation concept which turned out to give optimal results in the efforts of mastering the aviation technology in a relatively short period of time, 20 years.
IPTN has the view that the technology transfer should be implemented integrally and completely and covers hardware, software and brain ware of which the human being is the nucleus. That is the human being who has hard willingness, capability and standpoint in science, theory and expertise to implement them in the concrete work. Based on this IPTN has applied a technology transfer philosophy called "Begin at the End and End at the Beginning". It is the philosophy to absorb advanced technology progressively and gradually in an integral process and based on Indonesia’s objective needs. Through this philosophy was then thoroughly mastered, not merely materially but also the capability and expertise. This philosophy is also adaptable to any development and progress achieved by other countries.
The philosophy teaches that in building aircraft it does not necessarily start from components, but directly learn the end of a process (already-built aircraft), then reverse through phases of component manufacturing. The phases of technology transfer is divided into:
- Phase of utilization of the existing technology/License Program
- Phase of Technology Integration
- Phase Technology Development, and
- Phase of Basic Research
The target of the first phase is the mastery of manufacturing capability, and at the same time sort out and define types of aircraft that meet the domestic need; the result of the sales is utilized to support the company business capability. This is known as the progressive manufacturing method. The second phase is aimed at mastering the design as well as manufacturing capabilities. The third phase is aimed at enhancing the self-design capability. And the fourth phase is aimed to master the basic sciences in the frame of supporting the development of excellent new products.
During the last 24 years of its establishment, IPTN had been successfully capable of transferring sophisticated and latest aviation technology, mostly from Western Hemisphere, to Indonesians. IPTN has, especially, mastered in aircraft design, development, and manufacturing small to medium regional commuter.
In facing new global market system, IPTN redefined itself to ''IPTN 2000'' that emphasizes on implementing new, business oriented, strategy to meet current situation with a brand new structure.
The restructuring program includes business reorientation, rightsizing and composing the human resources with the available workloads, and a sound capitalization based on a more focused market and concentrated business mission.
PT. IPTN is now selling its redundant capabilities in the area of engineering - by offering design to test activity services -, manufacturing - aircraft and non-aircraft components -, and after sales services.
It is in this relation that the name IPTN had been changed into PT. DIRGANTARA INDONESIA or Indonesian Aerospace abbreviated IAe which was officially innaugurated by the President of the Republic of Indonesia, KH. Abdurrahman Wahid, in Bandung on August 24, 2000.