Munich, Germany-based company 328 Support Services has officially renamed itself Deutsche Aircraft, re-establishing itself as an OEM to develop the eco-version of the Dornier 328 regional aircraft.
328 Support Services GmbH has been the Type Certificate holder for the D328 aircraft 40 seat regional turboprop aircraft since 2006, providing maintenance and support for the around 200 Dornier 328 aircraft in service.
The company is now developing the D328eco aircraft, a a hybrid-electric, 40-seat turboprop based on the 328 aircraft. The 328eco will be SAF (sustainable aviation fuel) compatible and feature a new flight deck based on Garmin 5000 avionics suite.
Deutsche Aircraft is planning to start flight testing the D328eco in 2024 and for the aircraft to enter into service by end of 2025. The first prototypes of the D328eco will be built at the company’s base in Oberpfaffenhofen Munich.
The company is continuing to provide maintenance and technical support to the global D328 fleet and plans to grow its engineering, operations, programs and supply chain teams to support the D328eco program development. It plans to have built a Final Assembly Line in Leipzig, Germany by the end of 2024 to restart production of the 328 in Germany.
Deutsche Aircraft has previously said it plans to recruit up to 250 people to work at the production facilities in Leipzig, and wants an additional 100 engineers at Oberpfaffenhofen. Current vacancies can be viewed here .
In July, Deutsche Aircraft announced a partnership with fuel cell company H2FLY to develop and test a hydrogen-powered 328 by 2025. The company also announced a partnership with hydrogen fuel cell and logistics network company Universal Hydrogen the same month.
Dave Jackson, managing director of Deutsche Aircraft said, “It is a very exciting time in aviation and at Deutsche Aircraft. We have a new aircraft OEM, new facilities and a growing team.
“To embark on this journey, we needed a strong brand that embodies our ambitions and brings us closer together. Deutsche Aircraft’s brand refers to our German aviation-engineering heritage, our environmental and sustainability consciousness, and our passion for aircraft. Our symbol, the Hummingbird, represents our values and vision. It is sustainable, adaptable and perfectly engineered.”