Geoff Thomas/DUBAI

Fairchild Aerospace announced at the show yesterday that it has sold its first Envoy 7 business jet in the Middle East. The deal was signed on Friday in Dubai between Beirut-based Safadi investment group and Fairchild company Dornier Luftfahrt GmbH.

This is the 29th Envoy 7 that Fairchild has sold. Deliveries will begin in 2002. Based on Fairchild's 70-seat 728JET airframe, the Envoy 7/728JET programme is about to enter its critical design review (CDR) stage.


Says company president Jim Robinson: "Completion of the individual system level CDRs, expected by the end of the first quarter of 2000, will result in a highly-defined aircraft configuration at which time production of prototype aircraft will begin."

If this schedule is adhered to, then the first flight should be in mid-2001 with initial deliveries the following year.

German flag carrier Lufthansa has placed 60 firm orders for 728JETs and 60 options.

Powered by two GE CF34 turbofans, the 728JET/Envoy 7 was launched in May 1998 with a common airframe - the only differences being the interior configuration and the fuel system.

Source: Flight Daily News