With components arriving from Spain and Belgium, Fairchild Dornier has begun component integration of its first 728JET 70- to 85-passenger regional jet at its Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany facility.
With the center-fuselage/wing-box section delivered from EADS-CASA in Spain and the cockpit and rear fuselage sections from Belguim-based Sabca mated to the upper fuselage manufactured by Fairchild Dornier, the 728JET is scheduled for “power on” tests in early December. The 728JET is expected to achieve its first flight in early spring.
“We are very pleased with the performance of EADS-CASA and Sabca on these major 728JET structures,” said Fairchild Dornier CEO John Wolf. “With the high quality of these parts, and the parts from our other suppliers, the integration process is proceeding smoothly. This not only proves the success of our advanced design philosophy, it demonstrates the craftsmanship of our partners.”
EADS-CASA in Madrid has overall responsibility for the wing/wing-box assembly and empennage, including control surfaces and engine pylons. Sabca, based in Brussels, manages production of the cockpit and rear fuselage sections for the 728JET.
According to Fairchild Dornier, a distinctive aspect of the 728JET forward section is the windscreen frame produced by Sabca from a three-piece aluminum forging through milling techniques that result in a stronger, yet less complex structure not usually found in airliners.
The 728JET has a cabin width of 3.25 meters (128 in.) with a five-abreast seat arrangement, and can accommodate standard, four-abreast first-class seating in a mixed layout. With doors front and aft and no requirement for over-wing exits, the 728JET interior allows flexibility for 70- to 85-seat cabin layouts. Fairchild Dornier is also marketing a business jet version of the 728JET, called the Envoy 7.