In addition to its broad-based cabin interiors work, over the past half-decade 328 Support Services has built itself a niche in the market for an executive and private aircraft conversion from the Dornier 328JET. Branded the 328DBJ (Dornier Business Jet), a full-scale, cutaway mockup is on display at the company’s exhibit here at EBACE (Stand 1913).
With a ready supply of the twinjet airliners sitting in storage, 328 Support Services can afford to cherry pick among the low-time, twin-engine aircraft in good condition at a cost of $5 million to $8 million. And for another $4 million to $6 million for a major executive interior upgrade, the customer has “an elegant airplane” with a cabin roughly the size of a new Embraer Legacy 650 at approximately half the cost. 328 Support refers to the 328DBJ as “a bespoke luxury.”
The company, based at Munich Executive Airport in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, introduced the 328DBJ in late 2010 as a replacement for the earlier Envoy version, with a longer cabin: 10 meters long, 2.15 meters wide and 1.8 meters high (33 feet by 7 feet by 6 feet). The 328DBJ was certified in June 2011. According to 328 Support, there are 17 Envoys and two 328DBJs in service and “two more orders are pending.”
According to sales support manager Kim Fuller, among the most recent deliveries are one executive 328DBJ and two 328DBJs in 32-seat, high-density shuttle configuration for an African operator.
The 328DBJ is typically configured for 12 passengers, cruises at 400 knots at 35,000 feet, and with optional long-range auxiliary fuel system has a range of 2,000 nm.
But 328 Support is no one-trick pony. The company is a type certificate holder and with its sister company 328 Design, is expanding the company’s market reach well beyond the 328DBJ. It has just won a major cabin refurbishment job on a Gulfstream IV and has been awarded contracts to supply galleys for executive Boeing Business Jets and a Boeing 767.
A spokesman 328 Support can do elements of cabin design, reconfiguration and refurbishment on jet airplanes as large as the ACJ330 or ACJ340 or as small as a helicopter. In addition to aircraft mods and interior reconfiguration, 328 Support offers a variety of products, including structural parts, seat tracks, fuel tanks, control cables and electronic harnesses. 328 Support is fully EASA Part 21J design-, Part 21G production- and Part 145 maintenance approved.
In addition, another sister company, Jet Engineering Technical Support (JETS), located at Bournemouth Airport on England’s south coast, has upgraded its paint hangar and is capable of doing exterior paint on the 328DBJ.
At EBACE, 328 Support is sharing an exhibit booth with Jet Engineering Technical Support, as well as 328 Design. 328 Support also has a concession on the stand for business associate Visionnaire, an Italian designer and builder of high-end home furniture now moving into aircraft interiors with their own branding.