Rekkof Aircraft will invite tenders from established Tier 1 aerostructures companies to produce parts for its planned Fokker 100NG development of the Dutch jetliner design at a factory to be built in Brazil, according to chief executive Maarten van Eeghen.
Discussions with potential industrial partners and suppliers on the NG Aircraft Fokker “next-generation” regional jet program have reached “an advanced stage” and the project is “close to starting the development phase,” say officials.
Fokker Services, part of Fokker Aerospace is preparing to modify a prototype Fokker F100 airliner as a demonstrator vehicle for the proposed successor to the type being planned under the name Aircraft XF100NG.
An early casualty of the contraction of the regional jet market could get a new lease on life, as European authorities consider approving a €20 million ($27 million) loan by the Dutch government to NG Aircraft to revive the Fokker 100. The initial capital injection would help jump-start an effort to upgrade the program’s original prototype with new powerplants and avionics, additional fuel capacity, a stronger wing and winglets.
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.
Rekkof Aircraft, the Dutch company trying to bring Fokker F70 and F100 twinjets back into production, has said the uncertain status of the Fairchild Dornier regional jets and the demise of BAE Systems’ Avro RJX program have boosted its prospects. The firm has now joined Embraer and Bombardier in the race to win an order for up to 60 regional jets from German regional operator Lufthansa CityLine.
Having dropped regional operations rather than continue losing money into the winter season, Netherlands-based Denim Air group plans to offer enhanced wet-lease services and may add regional jets, according to airline CEO Matthijs Boertien. Poor profitability and increased competition in key German, Italian and Swiss markets saw subsidiary Denim Airways cease scheduled flights in September.
Following earlier unsuccessful efforts, revival of the 79- and 107-seat Fokker 70 and 100 regional jets could now depend on the development of a “new, more modern engine,” according to Rekkof chairman Jaap Rosen Jacobson. Rekkof acquired F70/F100 tooling and design rights after the Dutch manufacturer’s 1996 failure.