Daimler-Benz acquired Dornier in 1985. Fairchild acquired Dornier assets in 1996, forming Fairchild Dornier. In 2005 Germany’s 328 GmbH acquired Dornier assets. In 2015 Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) acquired Dornier intellectual property & manufacturing rights. In 2016 was TRJet formed, and entered an MOU with Turkish Regional Aircraft Project to produce an updated 328 & an entirely new, larger clean-sheet design. While aircraft development typically requires 12-14 years from inception to completion, the Project starts from a better position due to the existing certified, globally-operational and -accepted aircraft from which the aircraft is being modeled. To achieve an accelerated timeline, enhancements are being made to the flight deck, future-proofing the aircraft and power systems. The first 32-seat aircraft is scheduled to take flight in approximately three years.
On 06 February 2015 Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) completed acquisition of a UK- and Germany-based aircraft company, 328 Support Services GmbH (328), owner of the type certificate and intellectual property (IP) rights for design, manufacturing, maintenance and certification of the 200 existing Dornier 328 (D328) prop and jet aircraft. In addition, SNC holds IP rights and supplemental type certificates (STCs) for modernization technologies that allow the Dornier 328 aircraft to be used by the U.S. for multi-mission applications ranging from transport and cargo to surveillance and medical use.
Sierra Nevada Corporation’s(SNC) Chief Executive Officer Fatih Ozmen, announced May 27, 2015 that the company recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding involving the Turkish Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs & Communications to meet the need of producing the country’s first regional jet as part of its Regional Aircraft Project (“Project”). The foundation of the Project is a modernized version of the D328 aircraft, of which all intellectual property rights have been acquired, which will be the first domestically-built passenger aircraft in Turkey. The design of a new high-tech product, the 628 aircraft series, will start simultaneously with production of the 328 series. While the Project establishes a world-class aerospace industry infrastructure in Turkey it also serves the global aviation market.
SNC, an aerospace and aviation integration company privately held by U.S. couple Eren and Fatih Ozmen, will collaborate with Savunma Teknolojileri Mühendislik ve Ticaret A.S. (STM) on the Project by upgrading the existing D328 and manufacturing the aircraft, which will be 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 will support SNC in building and producing these aircraft, including assisting in establishing an European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) -approved 21G aircraft production facility in Turkey.
The Republic of Turkey took a low-risk, cost-effective strategy for the Project by electing to work with SNC, a well-established, global aerospace company, and capitalizing on the existing intellectual property and assets of the D328 aircraft recently acquired by SNC. With STM as the prime contractor, the Project also leverages the capabilities of national companies, with Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) as subcontractor, along with several companies such as Aselsan, TEI, Havelsan, Alp Aviation, Kale Aviation and Turkish Cabin Interior Inc. (TCI). This cooperation will enable a rapid, successful launch of the Republic of Turkey’s Regional Aircraft Project.
“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 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.”
US based airplane maker Sierra Nevada Corporation announced on 16 June 2015 that it had formed a new Turkish company called TRJet, which will produce Turkey's first regional jet. The new company called TRJet Havacilik Teknolojileri Anonim Sirketi (TRJet) was announced at the Paris Air Show. The project was supported by the Turkish Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications with its Regional Aircraft Project. The Turkish government will capitalize on this technology, and on Dornier’s legacy of innovation dating back to the start of commercial aviation, to support the growth of Turkey’s existing civil aviation industry, as well as to open the country to the global aviation market.
SNC’s owners, President Eren Ozmen and CEO Fatih Ozmen, are of Turkish origin. As one of the world’s fastest growing and most successful aerospace companies, SNC is making a major investment in European markets to expand globally through modern commercial aircraft technologies. During the past decade alone, SNC's combined capabilities have grown to include design, manufacturing, modification, certification (FAA, EASA and military), integration and support of approximately 400 aircraft for customers worldwide.
328 is headquartered in London with its main operations based at Oberpfaffenhofen Airport, near Munich, Germany. It employs more than 150 aviation experts. The 328 management team has significant, relevant experience in customer support, aircraft completions and VIP/Corporate operations, as well as business growth and improvement strategies. SNC anticipates a close working relationship between 328 and its subsidiary, Kansas-based 3S Engineering, in the areas of design and type certification.
328 purchased the type certificate for the D328 jet and turboprop, as well as the Dornier 428 and other assets, in December 2005 from Avcraft, which acquired it from Fairchild-Dornier. Upon acquisition, it concentrated on ensuring maintenance of the existing fleet, providing stability to the D328 aircraft market in terms of support and residual values. This culminated in the successful continuance of aircraft operations into 2015 and beyond.
The aircraft for the Project will be built and certified at a yet to be disclosed new commercial production facility in Turkey, using significant investments by SNC. These modern facilities, coupled with the high-tech, commercial aeronautics technology developed by SNC and Turkish engineers under the Project, will contribute significantly to bolstering the aviation and aerospace industry in Turkey.
Extensive market studies show that these aircraft are not only needed in the domestic arena, but that there are regional and international demands as well. As a result, SNC anticipated that it will secure licensed production of such aircraft for sale in the United States, including sales to the U.S. Government.
Indonesian Aerospace wanted to use an existing design and use that as a template to kick-start their aviation industry. Although the CN-235 was initially the result of cooperation between CASA and IPTN of Indonesia, CASA has developed its own series and versions, with increases in weights, ground performance improvements, etc.
With a 30 capacity plane it will be easier for airlines to fill the plane and make cross flight between regional airports. The plane could start immediately if 30 people entering the plane. This plane segment is missing now. If a plane flys with maximum payload ( in this case 32 seats ) it reach the maximum efficiency per seat. This is why smaller planes are easier to fill with passengers than with bigger planes. If a plane would have a capacity of 100 plane ( in a regional short distance flight ) and only filled in average with 50-60 people, this would be a loss in effiency of almost 50%. In this case a 32 seater would be optimal.
The Do 328 wasn't a competitive plane when it was new, and now few want to fly them in Airline service, besides a few small carriers. There is literally no class of airliner that is less economical than 30 seat jets. This is why there are so many Dornier 328 Jets parked in the desert or scrapped. Nobody wants them, besides a few charter airlines that are interested only because of their rock bottom price. This plane won't even be necessary for the government and military because it has no capability that existing planes don't have, instead it has less capability. if they need a transport plane, they have a choice from many planes that can lift more and land on shorter runways. If they need a VIP transport, they can buy one of the many business jets already on the market because they are faster and have more range.
There are about 5,000 small regional aircraft still flying, according to Dave Jackson, managing director of the 328 program at Sierra Nevada, who said the company is seeking about 500 orders split between the baseline 32-seat 328 and a possible all-new 50-60 seat variant dubbed the 628. The market is growing, but not in the 50 seat and below segment. Not only is the segment looking smaller for each of the past few years, the segment the TRJ is looking at is tiny. From 2009 to 2011 the 30-seat regional jet market hit triple digits. For the rest of the periods, it has been double digits. TRJ plans to offer the 328 as both jet and turboprop. If we add to this the 705 turboprops with up to 34 seats, the combined fleet was about 800 as of the end of 1Q15. Fortunately the turboprop fleet TRJ is focused on averages 22 years old. So there is indeed an opportunity for replacement.
TRJet announced orders for the comprehensively modernized 328 Series aircraft July 12, 2016. Signing a Letter of Intent at Farnborough International Airshow, the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ITO) committed to the purchase of 10 TRJ328™ aircraft and Sentinel Aerospace Group of Singapore has confirmed five TRP328™ turboprop aircraft for special mission use.
TRJet’s 328 Series is an enhanced and technologically updated version of the acclaimed Dornier 328 aircraft known for its multipurpose use and extreme versatility. The only aircraft of its kind certified with both a jet and turboprop variation, the 328 Series is ideal for a wide variety of uses spanning surveillance and rescue missions to passenger and VIP jets.
“We needed a proven aircraft we could trust for delicate and complex tasks such as rescue and military missions,” said Sentinel Executive Stan Nonnis. “The TRP328 was the clear choice because of its unique short take-off and landing capability, and its ability to handle the most demanding environments.”
Because of its multiple interior configuration options, the TRJ328 is also a sought after aircraft for corporate and VIP travel. With a typical flight range of approximately 1,120 nautical miles (2,080 km) the TRJ328 is both an efficient and cost-effective option for direct travel between small cities.
“Turkey represents the perfect operations environment to highlight the unique capabilities of the new modernized 328 Series. The TRJ328 offers easy and direct access to small airports and remote locations despite the rough terrain along the Turkish countryside,” said Ibrahim Caglar, chairman of the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce. “Increased direct traffic within Turkey is sure to stimulate regional trade. We are also proud to offer our support to this project as an institution that prides itself on fulfilling its duty for the greater benefit of Turkey.”
ITO’s commitment to 10 TRJet aircraft confirms the growing interest in the Turkish Regional Aircraft Project, and its capacity to support economic growth across the country. It builds on the interest since the May 2015 MOU, which featured an initial requirement of up to 50 aircraft, signed between the Turkish Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs & Communications and Sierra Nevada Corporation for the Turkish Regional Aircraft Project.
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