New German aircraft manufacturer, Deutsche Aircraft announced at the Paris Air Show that it carried out the first “metal cutting” of parts to equip the prototype of the D328eco turboprop. The maiden flight of the aircraft, a reworked version of the D328, is scheduled for mid-2025.
Deutsche Aircraft is affiliated with 328 Support Services, the company that provides support and maintenance for the D328 and which owns the production rights for the aircraft originally designed by Dornier – a century-old German company that ended its activities in 2002.
The manufacturer is present at Le Bourget, exhibiting for the first time full-scale mockups of the cockpit and passenger cabin of the turboprop. The D328eco test campaign will be carried out with two prototypes and a production aircraft, says the company.
The D328eco will have an elongated fuselage to increase passenger capacity and, as the name of the plane indicates, it will be an aircraft with a low environmental impact, although it will not yet have a hybrid or electric engine.
According to Deutsche Aircraft, the new turboprop is designed to be 23.3 meters long, or about 2 m longer than the original D328. Due to the addition, the plane will be able to carry up to 47 passengers, 10 more than the first generation model.
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The project envisages using Pratt & Whitney PW127S engines powered by sustainable aviation fuel – the original D328 uses Pratt & Whitney PW119B engines.
Last month, Deutsche Aircraft released the first sales agreement for the D328eco. The aircraft was selected by the German company Private Wings, which signed a letter of intent to acquire five D328eco aircraft.