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Polot
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How Flight Ready Was The Fairchild Dornier 728?

Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:51 pm

I have always been interested in the Fairchild Dornier 728. It was a beautiful bird (just look at that nose!), and the aviation industry could have been very different in the past 10 years if Fairchild Dornier didn't go bust before its first flight, considering that the E-jet helped cement Embraer in the market place.

But I have always been curious about just how the jet was taking to the sky. First flight was suppose to be summer of 2002, but Fairchild Dornier went bust about a week after its late March roll out. More recent aircraft (re: 787) have shown how roll out doesn't necessarily mean close to completion, and of course with the company going bust we have no way of knowing if the 728 would have had successfully met its summer timeline for first flight, so I was wondering if anybody knew just how complete the jet was. Was all (or most) of the hardware necessary for first flight installed at the roll out, and the plane just needed additional structural/static/ground testing before first flight, or did Fairchild Dornier was throwing one last Hail Mary to try and drum up interest and (financial) support before their impending insolvency with a roll out of an aircraft that still needed a lot of work?


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Dalmd88
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RE: How Flight Ready Was The Fairchild Dornier 728?

Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:02 pm

I worked for a division of Fairchild up to 98. I highly doubt that was anywhere near ready to fly when they went under. I really think the roll out was a hail mary pr stunt to get some orders so they could keep the doors open. Everything that company did was real seat of the pants, throw it on the wall and see what sticks kind of thinking.
 
ExpressJet_ERJ
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RE: How Flight Ready Was The Fairchild Dornier 728?

Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:34 pm

Wow, I forgot how pretty it was. I never saw the flight deck before. It looks so similar yet so different to the E-jet. I wish it was around!
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rikkus67
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RE: How Flight Ready Was The Fairchild Dornier 728?

Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:49 pm

Bombardier had kicked around the idea of taking over the program, and (at the time) I am surprised they didn't go ahead. It would have been interesting to see what might have happened. We might have actually seen a 528 (originally it was the 528/728/928 program)...

I agree though, this was an esthetically beautifully engineered aircraft, and it is a shame that the program ended so abruptly!
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ThePinnacleKid
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RE: How Flight Ready Was The Fairchild Dornier 728?

Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:23 pm

I always thought that this aircraft was gorgeous... I wish it had made it to full production... I imagine the regional landscape would look very different. If anything, this aircraft reminds me the most as a predecessor if you will (vicariously) to the Sukhoi Super Jet.... They both even have the "mainline" cross section of 5 abreast in Y.
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F9Animal
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RE: How Flight Ready Was The Fairchild Dornier 728?

Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:29 pm

It indeed was a good looking airplane, and would have done very well had it made it. Perhaps a little ahead of its time? I wish someone would resurrect this company. Fokker seems to keep coming back from the ashes. As for being flight ready? I would not be surprised if it was close to being ready. They invested lots of money into this plane, and had every reason to get it flying as soon as possible. I agree it was a hail marry, but one they hoped would save the company.

Does anyone know what happened to the pictured airframe?
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Polot
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RE: How Flight Ready Was The Fairchild Dornier 728?

Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:43 pm

Quoting F9animal (Reply 5):
Does anyone know what happened to the pictured airframe?

It was stripped of parts that got sent back to the suppliers and sold at auction in 2005 to the German Aerospace Center for cabin testing purposes. They cut off most of the wings (literally cut them off, not removed them) and transported it to their facility. I guess they still have it there.
 
srbmod
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RE: How Flight Ready Was The Fairchild Dornier 728?

Sat Feb 09, 2013 4:28 pm

Quoting F9animal (Reply 5):
Fokker seems to keep coming back from the ashes.

Rekkof has been trying to relaunch the F70 and F100 for about a decade and their current plans are now called the F120NG (seating 120 in an all coach layout). The fact that in that time period, all they've done is show designs and renderings and have yet to even build a prototype of their proposed a/c lends itself to said a/c never being more than a paper plane.

Bombardier seriously considered buying Fokker in the mid-90s (Primarily for the F100.) but ended up passing on it because the company was in such a mess. Had they bought Fokker, who knows if the CRJ program would have advanced beyond the CRJ-200 (The CRJ-700 was in the early planning stages at the time Bombardier was looking at buying Fokker.).
 
F9Animal
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RE: How Flight Ready Was The Fairchild Dornier 728?

Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:22 pm

Thanks for the info guys! I honestly would love to see Fokker come back and be successful. I flew on a Mesa F70 in the mid 1990s. It was in America West colors. Absolutely a fine airplane, and they really had a nice interior on it. I sure miss the good old days when Midway had a nice fleet of them.

I miss the Dornier line. I also love the 328. If I remember correctly, was the jet version what caused them a financial mess?
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