The 328 was designed and placed into initial production by the German aerospace firm Dornier Luftfahrt GmbH, but in 1996 that firm was acquired by the United States aerospace company Fairchild Aircraft. The resulting corporation, named Fairchild-Dornier, continued the production of the 328 family in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, conducted sales from San Antonio, Texas, and supported the product line from both locations.
Design and development
Due to public perception of noise and reliability issues with turboprops, Fairchild-Dornier developed the turbofan-based 328-300 or 328JET, of which 83 were sold. The 328JET utilized the same cabin arrangement as the 328. Fairchild-Dornier also began development of the stretched 428JET, a 44-seat version of the 328JET. Plans were for the 428JET to be assembled in Israel by Israel Aerospace Industries.
The declining commercial success of the 328JET meant that Fairchild-Dornier was unable to finance the development of further models. The 328JET was therefore the last commercial aircraft to be produced by the former Dornier business before it became insolvent in 2002. Following Dornier's insolvency, AvCraft Aviation of Virginia acquired the rights to the 328 program in March 2003, including the 32-seat 328JET and 328 turboprop, 18 328JETs in various stages of assembly, and the development work on the 428JET. After the successful sale of these airplanes, AvCraft negotiated arrangements with suppliers to resume production. The first newly built 328JET was delivered in 2004. AvCraft also took on the production of these aircraft, due to low profit expectations for its other projects, until it filed for bankruptcy itself in 2005. The resulting firm was acquired by private equity investors and reformed as M7 Aerospace.
Specifications (Dornier 328JET)
Published in July 2009.
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