Fokker Aviation is studying a possible re-engineing programme for ageing F28s, replacing the type's existing Rolls-Royce Speys with General Electric CF34s or with R-R Tays. More than 200 F28s are still flying and at least one operator, Scandinavia's SAS, has already invested in Fokker 70-style cabin upgrades for its aircraft.

A Chapter 3-compliant hushkit for the F28 was proposed by a Fokker/TAT joint venture in 1992, but was shelved because of a lack of orders. The aircraft is exempt from US Stage 3 noise regulations as its maximum take-off weight falls below 34,050kg - a limitation which does not apply in Europe.

Re-engineing the aircraft would be expensive, but would avoid the performance penalties resulting from hushkitting. The F28 was introduced in 1969. Production ceased in 1987.

Fokker 70/100

The Fokker 70/100 assembly line should remain open until April 1997, despite the Dutch manufacturer's entry into administrative receivership in March, following cash purchases of an additional nine Fokker 70s by KLM Cityhopper and Vietnam Airlines. Samsung has proposed a rescue plan for Fokker, although this still awaits approval by the South Korean Government.

If Samsung is successful in taking over Fokker, it is understood that the South Korean company will push ahead with development of a 130-seat derivative of the Fokker 100, with a new wing and engines. The upgraded wing would later be used on the Fokker 70/100 as part of a mid-life update.

The Fokker 100 had its maiden flight in November 1986, and Swissair introduced the type into revenue service in March 1988. In March 1995, Indonesia's Sempati Air became the first airline to operate the Fokker 70, which is 4.6m shorter than the Fokker 100.

Production - Fokker assembly is undertaken at Schiphol, Amsterdam. A handful of Fokker 70s is in final assembly, although Samsung is proposing to build a further batch if the South Korean Government approves its take-over plan. These would be built for cash buyers which have already signed memoranda of understanding for additional aircraft. In the long term, Samsung envisages a production rate of up to 46 aircraft per year, rising from an initial rate of 20.

Source: Flight International