Fairchild Dornier 728
The Fairchild Dornier 728JET family was launched during the International Aviation and Space Flight Exhibition in Berlin in May 1998. The regional jet family was later renamed the 728. In March 2002, Fairchild Dornier was taken into administration and the future of aircraft looked uncertain. In July 2003, it was announced that the D'Long International Strategic Investment Group of Xinjiang, China had bought the 728 programme. D'Long was planning to relaunch the 70-seat regional jet as a joint German/Chinese development. The new company was named Fairchild Dornier Aeroindustries and it was planned to deliver the first relaunched 728 in 2006. This attempt to resurrect the programme has also failed as the new company filed for insolvency in 2004.
One 728 prototype, the 728-100, was built and was rolled out in March 2002. The 728-100 has a 70 to 85 passenger capacity with flexible seating configurations to include a two-class service. The aircraft's maiden flight was scheduled for August 2002, with deliveries to launch customer Lufthansa Cityline set for 2003. Other planned members of the family included an extended version with longer range (3,300km, compared to the 100's 2,550km) known as the 728-200, the 85 to 110 passenger 928 and the Envoy 7, a corporate version of the 728.
Lufthansa cancelled an order for 60 728 jets plus options on a further 60 aircraft in July 2002. GE Capital Aviation Services, Inc. (GECAS) placed an order for up to 150 728 regional jets but cancelled the order (50 firm and up to 100 options) in April 2002. Other customers included Bavaria Leasing, CSA Czech Airlines and SolAir.
Fairchild Dornier Corporation was formed in June 1996 when Fairchild Aircraft of San Antonio, Texas, USA acquired Dornier Luftfahrt GmbH of Oberpfaffenhofen, near Munich, Germany. In December 1999, the Investor group led by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice and Allianz Capital Partners became majority owners and provided financing for the development of the Fairchild Dornier line of regional jets, which also included the 32-seat 328JET airliner. The 328JET programme was acquired by AvCraft Aviation following Fairchild Dornier's insolvency. Final assembly of the 728 family was to be at Fairchild Aerospace's Oberpfaffenhofen facility in Germany.
The 728 was designed using SAP R/3 software for material management, 3D CAD/CATIA design software from Dassault Systeme and eM-Plant simulation program from Tecnomatix to optimise the complete manufacturing process. A laser alignment system is used for precision assembly.
Original suppliers included: Fairchild Dornier to manufacture the fuselage; EADS Casa of Spain for manufacture of the aircraft's wing/wing box assembly and empennage, including control surfaces and engine pylons; SABCA of Belgium for the cockpit and rear fuselage sections; and EADS for the vertical and horizontal stabilisers. The windscreen frame was produced by SABCA from a three-piece aluminium forging for a stronger yet less complex structure.
Parker Aerospace provided the aircraft's hydraulic system, which includes two fully redundant and segregated systems plus a separate backup system. Hamilton Sundstrand Aerospace provided the electrical systems.
The avionics suite is the Honeywell Primus EPIC system with six 8in x 10in LCD flight situational displays and multi-function displays. As well as Honeywell, Hamilton Sundstrand and Parker are providing flight control systems.
Honeywell is providing the environmental control system, which includes components and electronic controls for the bleed air system, air conditioning system, bleed air leak detection system and cabin pressure system.
With doors front and aft and no requirement for over-wing exits, the interior provides considerable flexibility for 70 – 85 seat cabin layouts. The 728 cabin can provide comfortable seating for a five-across coach arrangement or four-across business class. The large cabin is 10ft 8in wide and 7ft 2in high.
The 728-100 is powered by two General Electric CF34-8D turbofan engines fitted with FADEC (full authority digital engine control). The engines provide a take off thrust of 55.6kN (12,500lb), which gives the aircraft a maximum cruise speed of 0.82 Mach. The engines incorporate a number of noise reduction features including: advanced liners, optimised blade spacing, tailored fan outlet guide vanes, advanced chevron core nozzle and reduced jet exhaust velocity.
The Honeywell RE 220 auxiliary power unit offers high reliability, low noise signature and easy maintenance.
The main landing gear is produced by Goodrich as well as the wheels, tires, brakes, hydraulic system, brake control system and nose wheel steering system, used throughout the 728 family.
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