Monday, August 18, 2008

Not Classic Jetliners (8) : Fairchild-Dornier 728

The Fairchild-Dornier 728 was a good design scuppered by a failing company and only 1 was ever built and never flew. Fairchild bought Dornier in 1996 and publicly announced the 728 soon afterwards to supplement the 328JET. It was intended as a family of regional jets with a design similar to the A320 and 737 able to carry between 55 and 100 passengers.

The first prototype was completed at the end of 2001 and rolled out early the next year. By then 8 customers had placed orders for 125 aircraft with options for over 150 more. The plan was to begin delivered in 2003. However in April 2002 Fairchild-Dornier collapsed and filed for insolvency, even before the neat little 728 could take to the air. Major orders were cancelled soon afterwards.

A Chinese company has shown interest in buying the project but its unlikely now the project will ever come to anything. Especially as the only completed 728 has had it's wings cut off so it could be transported to the German aerospace centre DLR. Two other fuselages were also built.

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