Deutsche Aircraft, a German aircraft OEM, has unveiled plans to develop the D328eco, a platform that will align the future of aviation toward a zero-emission flight objective. Deutsche Aircraft is built on the heritage and expertise of 328 Support Services, the type certificate holder of the Dornier 328 aircraft (D328). Together with the participation of the German government, Deutsche Aircraft will lead the way in a new era of clean aviation through development of the D328eco platform, an efficient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly aircraft.
With plans to come to market by 2025, the D328eco will offer an alternative, eco-efficient solution within the sub 50-seat regional commuter and multi-role aircraft markets. A modern flight deck design and capabilities offered by the latest avionics suite will target future single pilot operation for greater operational efficiency. Pratt & Whitney PW127S engines and a sustainable aviation fuel compatible airframe, set the stage for the D328eco to change the way the world flies while reducing its carbon footprint. The stand-up and new cabin design will offer increased comfort and compliance with the latest health and safety requirements.
The company says the D328 is the only existing platform fulfilling the efficiency and performance requirements for a modern and more sustainable aircraft. Combined with new, protected and energy-efficient technologies, it will pave the way to zero emission within the next 15 years, outpacing 2050 international guidelines.
In line with Deutsche's sustainability objectives, REACH compliant manufacturing processes will be adopted in a new state-of-the-art, Industry 4.0, paperless final assembly line in Leipzig, Germany. The project is anticipated to boost local economies throughout its supply chain, in addition to generating indirect jobs in supporting industries.
Federal government coordinator of German aerospace policy Thomas Jarzombek states: “The coronavirus pandemic has had an immediate and very serious impact on aviation and the aviation industry. It is therefore an excellent sign that despite the crisis, work is going on full steam ahead on the D328eco. The federal government has supported the project right from the start and will continue to do so. A few weeks ago, the second tranche of our development cost loan was disbursed. The federal government is also funding the D328 via its LuFo aviation research programme in order to turn the zero-carbon vision for aircraft into reality.”
Deutsche Aircraft anticipates that travelling habits and demands on airlines will change. Traditional large-scale hub and spoke operations will be restructured as the demand for short-haul, point-to-point, low-emission transport grows. Airlines will resize their fleets to accommodate smaller, more efficient and more eco-friendly aircraft and seek to open underserved routes with direct services through ‘right sizing’ operations.
Dave Jackson, MD of DRA, comments: “As we mark the UN's International Civil Aviation Day we look to the future of aviation and the need to innovate today for the future. The COVID crisis has dramatically impacted the industry forever and our planet faces major challenges of which we are already starting to experience the impact. But as we plan to rebuild the sector, we can recalibrate and refocus on developing new products and processes that are much more environmentally friendly. The Deutsche Aircraft team is driven and passionate with a unique combination of expertise and skill in engineering excellence, including new senior management appointments from major OEMs and key players within the aviation industry. Our proven capabilities and protected technology have the potential to dramatically change the industry in the short term, by offering alternative aircraft products in line with future expectations.
“Our mission is to accelerate aviation's transition to zero emission aircraft. The D328eco is the only existing platform capable of fulfilling efficiency and performance requirements for modern green aircraft now, eventually supporting the industry's green transition. As we emerge from the COVID crisis, the short haul regional market will be the first to recover and the D328eco will provide an opportunity for airlines to rebuild in a more sustainable way.”