Twenty years ago a boy named Habibie managed to build a plane named N250. The N250 is a civilian passenger aircraft capable of accommodating 50 to 70 people. On August 10, 1995 N250 aircraft made by PT Industri Pesawat Terbang Nusantara (IPTN) managed to air in the sky of Indonesia. Even President Soeharto at the time witnessed the pilot test of Turbobrop-engined airplane at Husein Sastra Airport, Bandung, West Java. At that time Indonesia managed to prove to the world that Indonesia is a modern nation we are able to create their own aircraft. The pride of the people of Indonesia at that time only lasted for a moment. Imagine, Habibie dream makes N250 can be enjoyed by the people of Indonesia aground in the middle of the road because of the monetary crisis that hit Indonesia. There are also some circles believe the plane was deliberately stopped because some countries do not want Indonesia to advance in the field of Industry. How did Habibie’s N250 aircraft crash? and who exactly is Habibie’s figure?

The birth of N250 aircraft can not be separated from a great character named full Prof. DR (HC). Ing. Dr. Sc. Mult. Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie. He was born in Pare-Pare, South Sulawesi on June 25, 1936. When his father died in 1950, his mother and family moved to Bandung. After finishing high school in Bandung he continued studying at ITB (Institut Teknologi Bandung). In 1955 Soekarno had a dream to make the Indonesian nation intelligent and able to compete in the field of technology so that he sends the best Indonesian sons of the nation abroad to be able to compete with other countries. The opportunity was well used by Habibie so he managed to get a scholarship from the government to continue his studies to Germany. His interest in the aerospace world led him to opt for the Rhein Westfalen University of Aachen Technische Hochschule (RWTH), Germany. There he worked hard to learn to get the title Cumloude with Diploma Ingenier. Subsequently he worked at an airline company in Humburg, Germany while continuing his Doctoral studies at the same University so Habibie succeeded in obtaining his Ingenier Doctorate degree.

The first N250 aircraft to air in the sky of western Java
The first N250 aircraft to air in the sky of western Java

After a long time in Germany, Habibie has discovered many new discoveries in the world of aviation recognized by the International world. Some of his inventions include Habibie sparking formulas for calculating cracks or crack progression on random. Habibie’s findings form he called “Factor Habibie”. Habibie’s findings formula can calculate crack progression to the atomic scale of aircraft construction materials. So Habibie was nicknamed “Mr. Crack “. In addition he has also managed to make several aircraft designs such as Airbus A300, Transall C-160 Military Transit Plane, Hansa Jet 320 and N250 Aircraft. The N250 is Habibie’s most famous plane in Indonesia in the 90s.

In accordance with his promise to Soekarno, Habibi Returned to Indonesia to build the country. Having a wealth of experience gained in Germany, he ventured to build PT Industri Pesawat Terbang Nusantara (IPTN) in cooperation with the Indonesian government. In 1976 he and Nurtanio as chief executive began to develop aircraft by recruiting the best graduates overseas to work there. In 1995 Habibie’s first aircraft was completed and ready to be flown at Husein Sastra Airport, Bandung, West Java. When the first trial many observers who believe this plane will not be able to fly even will fall off when take off. At that time Suharto and thousands of people had packed Husein Sastra Airport of the country, Bandung, West Java with anxiety and happy. It turned out that after the takeoff of the N250 aircraft flew perfectly accompanied by lively applause from the public and state officials. Suharto and some officials congratulated Habibie but with humble remarks Habibie said “This is not my work but the work of Indonesia’s best engineers”

“This is not my work but the work of Indonesia’s best engineers”

After the initial trials successfully carried out N250 aircraft only require certification from several countries in order to be mass produced in Indonesia and feasible to operate in several countries. This factor is the beginning of N250 aircraft stalled because the cost of flights abroad when it is so high that making the certification process is a bit difficult. Actually N250 was already flown in several countries including in Norway which is a cold country. But the N250 flight time is still not enough to get certification from the airline’s licensor. In 1998 there was a major disaster called the monetary crisis that resulted in the financial crisis that the Indonesian state had to lend money to the IMF (International Monetary Fund). At that time one of the conditions proposed by the IMF to Indonesia was to stop the subsidy from the government for IPTN. Soeharto at that time as president of course prefer to save the country rather than save the N250 aircraft so that the history of N250 aircraft children’s work. PT IPTN does not have the cost to continue the certification process of N250 aircraft to various countries. Even then, a massive firing of IPTN employees of 48,000 workers left only 4,000 workers. Those who have been fired at IPTN choose to work abroad on overseas airlines such as Iran, Qatar and Germany. Their skilled hands are born with new findings that refine both Boeing and Airbus-powered aircraft produced by overseas companies.

Habibie never forgot the failure of N250 and the firing of IPTN employees. He is also responsible for the departure of great scientists abroad due to the dismissal. Those who worked with Habibie at the time were the best sons who graduated from S1 to S3 overseas so it was very easy for them to find employment abroad with a large salary.

So now Habibie still has big dreams to realize his intention that Indonesia has its own aircraft and is able to compete with other industrial countries. With his son Dr. Ilham Habibie is pioneering a new plane named R80. Through PT Ragio Aviation Industrial aircraft R80 is in the process of making. Hopefully this plane successfully aired and enjoyed by the entire Indonesian nation from Sabang to Merauke as Prof. dream. DR (HC). Ing. Dr. Sc. Mult. Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie. Wallahualam. May be useful.

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