Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Turkish Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs & Communications to build the now out-of-production Dornier 328 aircraft in Turkey. SNC's plans, announced on May 27, call for the U.S. company to design an upgrade to the 328Jet and turboprop version and to collaborate with Turkish engineers to produce the country’s first domestically-built passenger aircraft. The design of what SNC calls a new high-tech product, the 628 aircraft series, would start at the same time as production of the 328 series. The 628 jet and turboprop models would carry roughly double the 32-passenger seating capacity of the 328s.
Based in Sparks, Nevada, privately held SNC plans to collaborate with Savunma Teknolojileri Mühendislik ve Ticaret (STM) on the project on an upgrade of the existing Dornier 328, marketed under the name TRJ328 for the jet version and T328 for the turboprop version. SNC subsidiaries 328 Support Services GmbH, 3S Certification LLC and 3S Engineering LLC would support SNC in the aircraft’s manufacture and serial production, including helping to establish a European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)-approved 21G aircraft production facility in Turkey.
SNC acquired Dornier 328 type-certificate holder 328 Support Services in February. Headquartered in London and basing its main operations at Oberpfaffenhofen Airport, near Munich, Germany, 328 Support Services performs full supplemental type certificates (STCs) and “build-and-certify solutions” for customers such as Airbus, Lufthansa and Turkish Technic. It also owns the type certificate and intellectual property (IP) rights for design, manufacture, maintenance and certification of the 200 existing Dornier 328 turboprop and jet aircraft.
“This project is a natural progression for SNC and our subsidiaries as we continue to capitalize on our decades of extensive experience in aircraft design modifications and our innovative, agile ability to create value for our customers,” said SNC president Eren Ozmen. “We also possess a unique capability to expedite obtaining the required certifications for numerous markets based on the D328’s proven technology and our aviation certification expertise.”