Shanghai-based investment group D’Long in late June confirmed it has signed a contract for the rights to the suspended Fairchild Dornier 728 program, but an eventual relaunch of the 76-seat jet remains far from certain. According to J.
Fairchild Dornier 728 family
Don’t let airlines tell you how to design airplanes, EasyJet strategic planning manager Hal Calamvokis cautioned aerospace industry delegates at last week’s NACRE conference.
Embraer and Airbus are trying to persuade fractional ownership operator Flight Options to switch its 25-aircraft commitment for Fairchild Dornier’s Envoy 7 business jet to their respective large cabin offerings, the Legacy and the Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ).
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.
Fairchild Dornier at last month’s NBAA Convention in New Orleans chalked orders for three more Envoy 3s, bringing the order book for the executive-configured high-wing twinjet to 10, according to Dean Rush, president of the company’s corporate aircraft division. To date, eight Envoy 3s have been delivered to customers.
As receivers of bankrupt regional jet manufacturer Fairchild Dornier awaited a takeover bid from a partnership led by Russian conglomerate Basic Element last month, another group of investors that hopes to prove more palatable to aircraft program stakeholders and the German government suddenly surfaced.
Lufthansa CityLine is looking at the Bombardier and Embraer regional jet families as alternatives to the firm order for sixty 728JETs that it had placed with airframer Fairchild Dornier. During the ERA assembly, the German regional’s managing director, Karl-Heinz Kopfle, said Bombardier’s CRJ700 and -900s are under consideration, as is the Embraer 170.
On June 6, AvCraft Aviation of Tyler, Texas, received the first STC cabin interior approval for the Fairchild Dornier 328JET, and the aircraft–known as the Envoy 3 in its business aircraft guise–is now in service with an Akron, Ohio advertising and public relations firm, and doing business as Ultimate Air Charters.
Leesburg, Va.-based AvCraft last month signed a contract to buy the Fairchild Dornier 328 program and its associated support businesses. The deal, at press time still subject to government approvals, would include the rights to the Fairchild name, the plant and equipment for the manufacture of 328s and 18 fully built 328JETs in storage at the bankrupt company’s Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany manufacturing complex.
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.
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