German aerospace research organisation DLR is taking possession of the first prototype Fairchild Dornier 728 regional twin-jet following an auction of the insolvent manufacturer's assets earlier this month.

Engineers from the DLR's aerodynamics institute, in Gottingen, plan a series of tests on the airframe, including cabin-noise reduction and aerodynamic flow.

Fairchild Dornier rolled out the single near-complete 728 aircraft shortly before the company filed for insolvency in 2002. Investors subsequently attempted to rescue the company and the 728 programme, but the manufacturer declared bankruptcy last year. Designed as a 70-seat regional aircraft, the 728 had secured orders from Lufthansa CityLine and General Electric Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), among other customers, before uncertainty over the aircraft's future led to these being cancelled.

Tooling for 728 production, as well as the 'iron bird' systems testing rig, were among the items put up for auction this month.


Source: Flight International