DAIMLER-BENZ Aerospace (DASA) expects to deliver its first improved-performance Dornier 328-110 turboprop to Taiwan's Formosa Airlines in late February 1996.

Delivery of the five aircraft ordered by Formosa has been delayed by the need to develop and certificate short take-off and landing improvements to the 328-100 for flights to and from Taiwan's Matsu Island. The militarily strategic island, close to China, is equipped with a runway only 870m (2,850ft) long.

DASA sales director Maite Radmann says: "To achieve the required performance, we had to develop not just a -110 with ground spoilers, but the -200 aircraft with 5% extra thermal dynamic power and smart rudder. He adds that this is integral to the agreement with Formosa."

The first two -110s planned for delivery to Formosa will be equipped with ground spoilers, an improved 20¡ flap setting for improved take-off, and will feature software modifications for a 10kt (18km/h) reduced minimum control speed.

The initial 328-110s, though, will have a limited payload performance when flying to Matsu. "Formosa will get some compensation for the first few months, when it is not able to operate at full capacity," says Radmann.

DASA's full-specification 328-200 is expected to be type-certificated by mid-1996. Design changes will include the smart rudder, for reduced low-speed deflection, and up-rated Pratt & Whitney PW119C turboprops, with 100mm propeller-tip extensions.

It is planned to retrofit Formosa's first two 328s with the modifications in Taiwan after certification is received, to enable the aircraft to carry a full 33-passenger load into Matsu.

Source: Flight International