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Turkey's TRJet regional programme reported to be cancelled

Posted 14 October 2017 · Add Comment

Reports from within Turkey's defence secretariat suggest that the country's first regional jet programme based on the Dornier 328 has been cancelled.

The TRJET which was expected to have first flight in 2019 was said to be "too costly" according to the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries.
At Farnborough Airshow last July TRJet and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) announced they were developing initial agreements to support the Turkish Regional Aircraft Project. A number of contracts for component parts were also signed at the show.
The programme was launched in late 2015.
“The industry’s center of gravity is shifting from West to East. While North America and Europe have previously seen the majority of global passenger traffic, we are now seeing increased growth in the Middle East and Asia,” said Cem Ugur, TRJet executive office, at the time of the launch. “
TRJet planned to produce the 32-passenger 328 series aircraft and develop the 628 concept aircraft as part of the project. These aircraft are targeted to fill an acute market gap for commercial aviation, making possible direct flights between small cities currently not feasible using larger airplanes.
“Regional aircraft, those under 100 passengers, are ideal for making short-range flights more economic and sustainable,” Ugur said. “The TRJet aircraft will address an unmet market need, further stimulating regional trade and increasing leisure travel.”
The reports from Ankara suggest that plans for Turkey to enter the commercial aircraft manufacturing industry may continue, but would do so by looking at other models and different investments but in the meantime all work on prototypes had stopped and that many of the workforce had been laid off.

The aircraft has had a chequered past. Originally it was the Fairchild Dorner 328 until the company collapsed in 2002. The rights were bought by AcCraft Aviation from Virginia USA who then completed 18 of the 328 jets that were on insolvent Fairchild’s production line in Germany. They also built the first new 328 which was delivered in 2004 before AvCraft hit problems and filed for bankruptcy in 2005.

Germany’s 328 Support Services took over the type certificate for the 328JET in June 2006 but did not resume manufacturing, instead it concentrated in providing MRO services to the in-service fleet of around 330 jet and turboprop versions of the aircraft.

In February 2015, 328 Support was acquired by American modifications and engineering specialist Sierra Nevada Corporation whose owner of the company Turkish-American Engineer Fatih Ozmen established a private corporation in Ankara and signed an MoU with the Turkish Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs & Communications in order to manufacture this aircraft at Ankara. It was then renamed as TRJet

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