The 30 seat Dornier 328 is a modern regional turboprop airliner that offers high cruising speeds and advanced systems.
Development of the 328 traces back to Dornier's mid 1980s market research that indicated there existed a substantial market for regional airliners in the 30 seat class through to 2005. Firm 328 development work began in December 1988, culminating in the first development aircraft's first flight on December 6 1991.
The 328 was awarded certification in October 1993. First customer deliveries also occurred in October 1993.
The 328 design incorporates an all new fuselage section for three abreast seating (offering more width per passenger than the 727/737) combined with the same basic supercritical wing of the earlier Dornier 228. Clean aerodynamics give the 328 excellent high speed cruise and climb performance. Composite materials are used in a number of areas (particularly the tail) to reduce weight and the blades on the Hartzell props are composite. The flightdeck features a five screen Honeywell Primus 2000 EFIS avionics system, while with heads-up displays the 328 can be qualified for Cat IIIa landings.
Industrial partners on the 328 include Daewoo Heavy Industries (fuselage), Aermacchi (nose), Westland (nacelles) and Israel Aircraft Industries (wing), accounting for 40% of the aircraft's construction.
Variants of the 328 are the initial production standard 328-100, the standard 328-110 with a larger dorsal fin, heavier weights and greater range, the 328-120 with PW119C engines and improved short field performance and the 328-130 with progressive rudder authority reduction with increasing airspeed.
At various times Dornier studied 50 seat stretches of the 328, but all were abandoned. Dornier also studied building a 328 demonstrator powered by hydrogen. The liquid hydrogen fuel would have been stored in two external tanks under the wings and outboard of the engines.
The last 328 was delivered to Air Alps Aviation in Austria in October 1999. The 328JET regional jet development is described separately.
Fairchild Aerospace acquired 80% of Dornier in early June 1996 to form Fairchild Dornier GmbH, but production of the 328 had stopped already before the Fairchild Dornier name became effective August 8, 2000.
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