Deutsche Aerospace announced a launch customer for its forthcoming D328eco aircraft. The announcement came at the groundbreaking ceremony for the final assembly line for the new aircraft at Leipzig/Halle airport in Germany.
The launch customer, Private Wings, placed a Letter of Intent to purchase five D328eco aircraft. The 328eco is a new 40-seat turboprop derived from the Dornier 328 with numerous improvements, including a fuselage stretch to increase capacity to 40 seats. The new sustainable turboprop also features the latest Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127XT-S engines, a new Garmin flight deck, new 6-blade propellers, a lightweight design, and a new, more modern cabin. The aircraft has been designed to use 100% SAF (sustainable aviation fuel) or H2-SAF called PtL (power-to-liquid) aviation fuel, reducing carbon emissions by 95%.
The aircraft is currently under development, with entry into service scheduled for 2026. While current production levels of SAF or PtL are insufficient for widespread operation, fuel production is ramping up. SAF can be blended with existing kerosene as the infrastructure permits.
Private Wings, an owner-operated airline based at Berlin Schoenefeld and Ingolstadt Airport, specializes in corporate shuttles and charter flights for events and sports teams. Private Wings currently has a fleet of nine Dornier 328 turboprops, a Dornier 328 jet, and a Beech 1900D. The airline’s current Do328 fleet averages 25 years old. The selection of an aircraft they know reflects a typical operator risk-averse approach. It is also an endorsement for Deutsche Aircraft.
We recently looked at the turboprop market: Part 1 focused on what the market looks like, and Part 2 looked at what the market might expect. We noted that the D328ECO was one of the programs in the sub-50 seat segment that warrants attention. Not a week later and they announce a launch customer.
The launch event came simultaneously as a groundbreaking for Deutsche Aircraft’s new FAL. Busy times ahead!