View Full Version : Regional Jet that never made it?

18th Feb 2008, 09:25
Anyone know if any company is looking at productiong the Fairchild-Dornier 728 family? In my opinion it was the best looking out of the new Regional Jets.

They had 3 prototypes made, One was complete, the other 2 were for testing. Lufthansa had put in an order for 60 firm and 60 options. Im surprised when Fairchild and Dornier shut down, no other company took over.

Any news?

18th Feb 2008, 09:41
Well, some chinese company initially took over but they too ran out of funds.

The prototype has been bought by DLR (German Aviavtion Research Institute) to do some testing.

7th Mar 2008, 00:36
Not exactly related to your question, but I had the unique oportunity to spend a few hours in the Do-728 prototype D-AEVA that the DLR (German Aerospace Center) bought. It's in a small building at the DLR in Göttingen, and it's in quite good condition. They use it for experiments on cabin climate and I earned some money participating in an early calibration test using the original aircraft systems before they will install new experimental systems. The aircraft still carries Dornier colors and is in quite a good condition. It has Lufthansa seats fitted throughout the cabin. I have only a few crappy exterior pics I took with my mobile phone, here are two of them:

(Large pics, about 700kb. The building is too small to go further away, so a fisheye would be needed to get a picture of the whole aircraft.)

7th Mar 2008, 19:44
Fairchild-Dornier had a huge configuration-control nightmare, according to a colleague on site. As they rolled out the prototype, the paperwork did not match the hardware in so many areas that it was deemed hugely expensive to fix. Thus it could not be certified - not even for a first flight. :ouch:

The potential buyers of the programme threw up their hands in despair.

7th Mar 2008, 20:54
Here is the proposed Australian GAC-100 regional T-Prop that never made it past the model stage. I think it would have been a good looking aircraft.


8th Mar 2008, 12:03
This would be an interesting thread for us to put a/c pictures on of those that did not make it. I will try and dig out the BAC 211.

8th Mar 2008, 21:38
The AVRO Canada C-102 Jetliner would have made good on 500-mile stage lengths. It flew years before the Boeing 707, and only a few weeks after the Comet. It had fewer teething problems than the Comet, and everyone except the politicians seemed to like the aircraft.
One of several Canadian aeronautical should-have-beens.

8th Mar 2008, 22:51
And there was another one this side of the pond, looking very similar, and very similar outcome, how very strange ? Keith.


9th Mar 2008, 00:00
Back in the 70's, a VFW 614 used to spend a lot of time at Patchway doing M45 development flying for Rolls Royce. The overwing engine mounting seemed to make sense for all sorts of reasons, so I'm a little surprised that no-one else has tried it. I'm not sure if ever went into commercial service, but I did see one in Luftwaffe colours several years later

9th Mar 2008, 00:07
\well, a quick google revealed a 'Friends of the VFW 614" website based at Bremen Airport...

I like the claim that the VFW 614 is "a special point of resplendence in the history of German aviation"

9th Mar 2008, 00:35
I recall an article - probably in the Shell Aero magazine - talking about the 614, with a photo taken from the front portside. A few pages later, there was a photo from the same angle of the F-28.

I did a double-take - the cockpit lines (windscreen, etc.) looked identical! For all I could tell, the cockpits of the F-28 and the VFW614 were built in the same jigs! :eek:

9th Mar 2008, 07:58
A VFW614 is currently perched on the roof of Bremen airport. It had a repaint and spruce up a year or so ago.

I imagine that maintenance of an overwing engine would have been a bit of a pain - and I wonder how much the engines liked high AoA?

9th Mar 2008, 10:44
A VFW614 is currently perched on the roof of Bremen airport. It had a repaint and spruce up a year or so ago.

I imagine that maintenance of an overwing engine would have been a bit of a pain - and I wonder how much the engines liked high AoA?

I think the engines would be no worse to access than the tailmounted engines on current regional jets, but I also wonder about AoA. And I wonder what the cabin noise level was...

One VFW614 is flying for the DLR at Braunschweig - as a fly by wire test aircraft! They seem to like failed German regional jets. Though they recently bought an A320, which might replace the last flying 614. :uhoh:
I seem to remember seeing a 614 of the Flugbereitschaft at Hannover in the 90s.

Would the Baade 152, the first German jetliner, count as a regional jet? It never made it into service, and only three prototypes were built and two were flown. First flight 1958.



9th Mar 2008, 11:04
Isn't someone trying to revive the Do-428 Jet ?

The Do-328 Jet is much under rated in my opinion

9th Mar 2008, 11:51
Avro Canada were post war a very innovative Company and the Jetliner was just one of a number of cutting edge projects they designed and got to the Protoype Stage, but never made it to production for various stated reasons, but from memory always with 'political overtones'.

The picture submitted by 'norwich' is the Avro 706 Ashton Research Aircraft (Total of Six Built), all based on Tudor 2 Airframes, shortened and 'beefed up' structurally. For such a short 'production run' there were 4 Variants: Ashton 1x1 Ashton 2x1 Ashton 3x3 Ashton 4x1 (Source: Avro Aircraft Since 1908 A.J.Jackson).

VFW614. An AIrline (Cimber?) Operated a fleet of these through Gatwick for at least one season and I remember seeing three lined up on a remote stand area. They looked 'pretty', but think the Direct Operaing Costs were too high to make money on the operation, plus a very low Despatch Reliabiality, even for a new type.

A thank you to 'lexif' 'for submitting the Baade B-152 side vew drawings, which make it look a lot less 'ugly' than the B&W Photograph I had seen previously.


9th Mar 2008, 12:04
I'm not sure if ever went into commercial service, but I did see one in Luftwaffe colours several years later

According to Wikipedia (not always 100% reliable) there was a linited production of the VFW 614.

Climber Air, Denmark – two aircraft
Air Alsace, France – three aircraft
Touraine Air Transport, West Germany – eight aircraft
Luftwaffe, West Germany – three aircraft

9th Mar 2008, 12:12
...regarding the Do-428.... a firm namely AvCraft Aviation based in the U.S. has acquired the rights to develop the program...but it went bankcrupt a few years back... i'm not so sure if they sold the rights to the 428...

but i'd bet my blue ass it would've been one good looking plane..

just my two cents... :E

10th Mar 2008, 19:38
Had to look it up since I've never heard of the Dornier 428JET concept - basically a 328Jet stretched to transport 44 people. Here is a drawing - looks better proportioned than the 328JET IMHO.

(Drawing from www.flug-revue.rotor.com.)


10th Mar 2008, 20:27
Somewhere I have a promotional sticker for the HS146.......long before its 2nd attempt to get going as the BAE146

10th Mar 2008, 21:40
Cimber did indeed operate the 614. They occasionaly flew the Copenhagen - Vagar (Faeroe Islands) service, and very occasionally divved into Sumburgh. The operator for the route used the c/s Dan-Air although the usual actual operator when I was around was Maersk. The c/s was a bit problematic though as in those days Danair were big on the oil routes. Hope I've got the hyphens the right way round. We also saw a german registered a/c which was based in Sumburgh briefly on a research project of some description.

Hussar 54
13th Mar 2008, 08:19
Touraine Air Transport was actually based in Tours, in France, not Germany. It eventually evolved into TAT with Air France taking a reasonable size stake in the business, before ending up as one of BA's and then Swissair's doomed attempts at cracking the French market.

Got my first flying job with them on B99's in the early 70's and in 1976 they actually opened a Gatwick > Tours > Poitiers route which sadly folded after a couple of years. Was always interesting to see the passengers' reactions when they went to the gate and saw our tiny 8 seater parked on stand between two DC10's....

I left just before the VFW 614's arrived, but a couple of years later I had to return to Tours to sign the documents to rent my flat there to an English guy who said he'd been sent by Rolls Royce to ' hang around ' just in case the sh*t hit the fan when the 614's were pulled from line service after no more than a couple of years and someone in TAT might want to point to the engines as a contributory cause. Even today I'm not too sure what the problems were that caused them to be grounded so soon.

Friends who stayed on in TAT and flew them later told me that the machine was a bit of dog - quite unstable and very slippery on approach. AoA of the engines, perhaps ?

The last 614's I saw were a couple stored at the airfield at Colmar ( not too sure when, but maybe 10 or 12 years ago ) which were presumably the Air Alsace machines. Not too sure what eventually happened to the TAT machines....Did anyone else take them off TAT and put them into service somewhere else ?

13th Mar 2008, 09:26
No dispute that the 328 Jet is ugly but it can operate from 4,000ft runways and 10 PCN strength. Stupid thing is they were almost always used from much longer runways and never cut free in their real forte.

13th Mar 2008, 12:47
I, for one, kept hoping the 728 would be revived, I was working for FaiDor at OP when it all went 'wrong'.
There were lots of unresolved issues with the prototype, I believe the management were trying to get something out of the door before the finances finally killed it in the hope of persuading the Bayern government to stump up more cash. Didn't work in the end, they still owe me a couple of grand ! It's the only time I got the order of the DCM - at four o'clock on Friday.
I saw the 614 at Bremen last year, one of the others was used by DLR to do the flight control testing for the 728 system - did someone already say that?
I must up the medication (from an 8yo to a 12yo).