Long-standing efforts to revive the Fokker 100 regional jet could get a boost from a €20 million ($27 million) loan offered by the Dutch government toward the $120 million, Phase 1 cost of upgrading the original prototype airframe as a proof-of-concept demonstrator with new engines and avionics, additional fuel capacity and winglets. If the Dutch assistance wins approval from European authorities, the holder of the production rights–NG Aircraft (formerly called Rekkof)–could launch the “XF100” project by mid-year, perhaps at July’s Farnborough International Airshow. A second phase of development to establish series production would require a further $675 million, according to NG director Jaap Rosen Jacobson. He told AIN the plan to assemble an updated, new-build “F100” in the Netherlands has drawn “substantial” interest from potential airline operators.
NG (for “next generation”) is talking to engine suppliers, but Jacobson declined to comment on AIN’s question about whether it has already selected the Rolls-Royce BR725. In 2005, Jacobson told AIN that the project would die at the end of that year if no new engine became available.
To launch the XF100 now, NG wants orders for up to 40 aircraft. Jacobsen would like to win 20 percent of the 7,000-strong market he sees for 70- and 100-seat RJs through 2026. Development of retrofit kits for existing F100s is seen as a “fall-back scenario,” he said.