Manufacturer wants to bring forward plans for renamed 728-200 and 928-200 as market grows.

Fairchild Dornier has secured additional funding in order to accelerate development of extended range (ER) versions of the newly redesignated 728 and 928 large regional aircraft, as market interest grows in more robust configurations.

The US-German manufacturer wants to bring forward development of the 728-200 and 928-200, renamed from the 728JET-XP and 928JET-ER, respectively, as part of the twinjet's redesignation exercise (see table below). Company chairman Chuck Pieper says it has raised over $900 million through equity placement and bank loans. He says German federal and Bavarian state banks have agreed $330 million in loan guarantees on top of existing guarantees. The deal is now before the European Commission for approval.


The company's present shareholders and banks have agreed to inject around another $600 million. Shareholders Clayton Dubilier & Rice and Allianz Capital Partners, which own more than 90% of stock, pumped in around $400 million in 1999 as part of a $1.2 billion recapitalisation. The remaining $800 million comprised debt financing from a consortium of German banks and financial institutions. The new funds will facilitate development of the ER versions and pay for the extensive design changes to baseline 728 and 928 designs.

Fairchild Dornier would like to offer delivery of a 728-200 as early as the start of 2004, around six months after the first scheduled delivery of the baseline -100 to Lufthansa CityLine. This would be followed in 2004 by the Envoy 7 executive jet version of the 728, and simultaneous certification of the 928-100 and longer range -200 in early 2005.

The 728-200 represents around a 2.8t increase in maximum take-off weight over the baseline 35.2t version, giving the aircraft 740km (400nm) more range. A planned 728JET-ER incremental offering between the 728-200 and the Envoy 7 has been dropped. The latter will have a range of 7,400km, but with an eight-passenger limit, and a total of 25,000 cycles.

The company board approved the product plan in December in response to a "big swell in interest" from airlines reviving their aircraft requirements and focusing on larger and longer range aircraft to supplement mainline operations, says Pieper.

TABLE: 728 family nomenclature change

Old Model Name




Envoy 7



New model name




Envoy 7** 928-100 928-200

MTOW (kg)


 37,990  39,500  47,870  49,700


 Winglets  No






*No longer available **Also has type designation 728-300


Source: Flight International