Hamburg training centre finds use for Fairchild Dornier 728

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Hamburg Centre of Aviation Training has chosen to base its cockpit mock-up on the ill-fated Fairchild Dornier 728 regional jet.

The new training centre, a public/private partnership, will open on 26 May and be jointly operated by Airbus, Lufthansa Technical Training, the state vocational college for production and aeronautical technology and Hamburg University.

The campus will house a 16.5m (54ft) long Airbus A300 fuselage section and a cockpit mock-up based on the Dornier Fairchild 728.

The latter will be used to explore new ergonomical concepts to improve working conditions for pilots.

Air conditioning, lighting and evacuation will be central areas of study, but the centre will also focus on how future flight decks can be more easily cleaned and maintained.

"The cockpit has to last the entire product lifecycle of an aircraft. This means it will fly for 25 or, with good maintenance, even 40 years," says Werner Granzeier, a professor at the city's University of Applied Sciences.

The cockpit mock-up has been manufactured by a local specialist for industrial models, Möbius Modell und Formenbau, which already produced a similar mock-up for the 728 programme around 10 years ago.

The regional jet never took off after the US German airframer filed for insolvency shortly after the official roll-out in 2002.