DORNIER EXPECTS to receive Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) certification for its improved 328-120 regional turboprop in May and to deliver the first aircraft shortly afterwards to launch customer Formosa Airlines.

The Dornier 328-120 is a further development of the recently certificated -110, offering improved runway performance. The aircraft incorporates many of the modifications originally contained in the improved-performance kit (IPK), which was cancelled in 1994.

Principal changes include a 100mm-increase in propeller diameter, the addition of ground spoilers and a 5% increase in power in the twin Pratt & Whitney Canada PW119B turboprops.

Other new features include enlarged dorsal and ventral fins. Missing from the -120, however, is the IPK's planned rudder limiter for single-engine-failure deflection.

Taiwanese carrier Formosa ordered five Dornier 328s in 1994 for delivery in 1995. They are intended for use on routes between Taiwan and its offshore islands, the smallest of which, Matsu, has only an 890m-long runway.

Dornier claims that the -120's shorter landing run will enable the aircraft to operate in and out of Matsu with a full 33-passenger payload. The 740km (400nm) round trip to Matsu, however, does not require a full fuel load and so allows for a reduction in the aircraft's maximum take-off weight.

The first Dornier 328-120 is due for delivery to Formosa by late May, followed by the remaining four aircraft at one-month intervals. The aircraft will replace three smaller Dornier 228-200s.

Source: Flight International