Based on the facts that no company has yet emerged with Fairchild Dornier’s 728JET program more than one year after the beleaguered German-American OEM declared insolvency and that the other parts of the company have now found homes with three other firms (see pages R14 and R16 in this month’s RAA Supplement), we removed the Envoy 7, the corporate version of the 728JET, from our “In The Works” chart last month. It is possible, however, that the Envoy 3, based on the 328JET, may end up back on the chart.
Ben Bartel, owner and CEO of the new Fairchild Dornier and Leesburg, Va.-based AvCraft Aviation (which acquired the OEM’s Oberpfaffenhofen assembly facility in Germany and some other assets), plans to restart the 328JET production line and focus on non-airline markets for the twin-turbofan airplane. But first he needs to sell and deliver 18 already-built 328JETs and five more in final assembly to obtain the cash needed to get the line going and establish a more extensive customer-support network for the eighty-eight 328 turboprops and ninety-nine 328JETS now flying worldwide. Five of the undelivered 328s have already been spoken for, according to the company, and negotiations are under way for more. These airplanes, Bartel told AIN, will likely be completed at AvCraft’s Tyler, Texas completion facility, which developed a corporate interior for the 328JET in 2002. The company anticipates resuming 328JET production, initially of the partially completed airplanes, as early as next month.