German firm launched to revive Dornier 328 production

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A new aircraft manufacturer has been launched in Leipzig, Germany to develop a new version of the Dornier 328.

The new company, which is called DRA, is being set up by 328 Services, a subsidiary of the Sierra Nevada Corporation, in partnership with the German government.

328 Support Services is the type certificate holder of the Dornier 328 aircraft and supports the existing fleet of Dornier 328s and 328JETS throughout the world.

The new aircraft will be called the D328NEU and will likely be a twin turbo-prop aircraft, according to an image released on DRA’s website. More details of the aircraft’s specification and its development timeline are expected to be released before the April next year.

DRA plans to recruit up to 250 people to work at its production facilities in Leipzig, and an additional 100 plus jobs will be created at 328 Support Services headquarters in Oberpfaffenhofen, near Munich.

Dave Jackson, managing director of 328 Support Services said, “We are proud to have won the confidence of the German Government in supporting this exciting new programme, and recognise the continuing support of our owners, employees and business partners.

“Germany’s return to the design and building of a Part 25 category commercial aircraft is long overdue and this new operation intends to create an aviation legacy founded on the heritage of aircraft pioneers.”

“The expansion of our locations in Germany and the formation of DRA, a new dedicated OEM, will enable us to manage future developments of the D328NEU aircraft and exploit future technologies and capabilities to produce a more efficient, economic and environmentally friendly aircraft.”

The original Dornier 328 was a twin-turboprop engined regional aircraft, with a range of 1,800km that could carry up to 33 passengers.

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Ben has worked all of his career as a journalist and now editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry. In the last 16 years he has written on subjects from nuclear submarines and autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies and commercial aviation. Latterly editor of a leading engineering magazine, he brings an eye for a great story and lots of experience to the team.

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