German manufacturer Deutsche Aircraft has again pushed back the service-entry date for its new D328eco – the second such delay for the programme.

Deutsche Aircraft says the 40-seat turboprop will now enter service in the fourth quarter of 2027, around 12 months later than previously planned.

D328eco 9-min-c-Deutsche Aircraft

Source: Deutsche Aircraft

Regional turboprop will be powered by PW127XT-S engines

That earlier target to begin operations in the second half of 2026, announced two years ago, was itself a delay from the original 2025 goal.

“The adjustments to the timeline align with regulatory changes that entail the detailed and comprehensive certification process, and the associated compliance requirements,” says the airframer.

Chief executive Dave Jackson told FlightGlobal at June’s ILA Berlin air show that first flight of a D328eco prototype would take place in the third quarter of 2025.

It implemented the delay after a “detailed internal review and intensive discussions with customers and potential operators, the aviation value chain, and key stakeholders”.

Deutsche Aircraft says the revised service-entry date will also enable it to “implement additional capabilities and improvements” to the aircraft.

New features and capabilities currently under evaluation including improved short-field performance and enhanced avionics, it says.

“These changes will be made in the context of the current certification and programme envelope and will advance the D328eco to even higher standards of market requirement alignment for both commercial and multi-role operators,” it states.

A stretched and modernised version of the original Dornier 328 twin-turboprop, the D328eco will feature a Garmin G5000 avionics suite and new Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127XT-S engines.  

Deutsche Aircraft plans to assemble the D328eco at a new purpose-built factory in Leipzig, construction of which is now under way.