Fairchild Dornier is to go ahead with its plans for a turbofan-powered 328, which will enter service in early 1999. The announcement follows the confirmation recently of the selection of Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC)as the engine supplier for the jet-powered derivative of the turboprop aircraft (Flight International, 29 January-4 February).

Now designated the "328 JET", the 32- to 34-seat aircraft will be powered by the 27kN (6,000lb)-thrust P&WC PW306/9 turbofan. The manufacturer is estimating a market for some 350 328 JETs.

Fairchild Dornier supervisory board chairman Carl Albert says that the company will continue producing the current turboprop version of the 328, which suffered from slow initial sales and high production costs, which the manufacturer is trying to reduce.

Work on the 50-seat 328 derivative is at the definition phase. This version, which is now known as the 428 JET, is scheduled to be in service by the beginning of 2000.

Source: Flight International