DORNIER 328 ALPHA: NEW DETAILS / Deutsche Aircraft
Jet.Paris PodcastAugust 25, 202200:16:1337.15 MB

DORNIER 328 ALPHA: NEW DETAILS / Deutsche Aircraft

Nico Neumann, Vice President of Operations and Programs at Deutsche Aircraft revealed news details about the Dornier 328 Alpha.

Nico: Personally, I think in the future we will see many trips below zero nautical miles. Need to be done by turboprop...

Vitaly: How many sits in the vip?

Nico: It depends on the convex of between 9 to 19.

Vitaly: What kind of fuel do you use for these electrical?

Nico: So you have…

Vitaly: So it's like a batteries. You use batteries.

Nico: Outside the cabinet generator.


Vitaly: Thank you very much, Nico, for your kind ability to speak to us. So let me introduce Nico. He's the vice president of deutsche aircraft. This is nice lovely bird, who most of uh lovers of aviation know it's quite well. So, Niko, tell us what exactly you do and why are you here at Ila?

Nico: So, first of all deutsche aircraft i mean most of you will know we are based on the heritage of DORNIER, so the DORNIER is three to eight as a platform we are working on from deutsche aircraft was uh established in 2005. That's called this time three trade support services and now we are bringing the DORNIER sweet weight back into production.

Vitaly: So, you're taking over all the DORNIER in your factory?

Nico: Yeah where we took over all the IP for the 328 and the 408 program and on the 328 we're maintaining in service aircraft got about 150 and service aircraft jet and turboprop.

Vitaly: We've just been to 3ds huffing and seeing the museum of aircrafts there so that's a really German heritage.

Nico: Да, и на видео DORNIER это действительно был самолет, опередивший свое время, так что он был действительно хорошо спроектирован. It was already 30 out of composites with a pressure bike it out of composites and we use now that platform to enhance it further.

Vitaly: Okay, and uh tell us, what is your invention for you?

Nico: So, what you see here is not our product. That is a test demonstrator so working on future technologies fuel cell hydrogen burn. That is a test that you see here where we test that things our product we're working with the 328 echo. That is an aircraft will be based on sustainable aviation fuel h2ptl is sustainable power to liquid based on a green hydrogen. And we are working together with Brett Whitney, Canada, there with an engine that is able to burn that kind of fuel to become co2 neutral.

Vitaly: Okay. So, these you like renovate old aircrafts, and you, would be, producing new aircraft sure.

Nico: Correctly, just in the development phase you have just reached the first critical milestones. We are planning to have type certification by 2026 for the next aircraft.

Vitaly: Okay, it's still a long way to go...

Nico: It's still a long way to go it's not easy to develop a new aircraft, yeah, definitely.

Vitaly: Okay. And, so, you plan to replace the older years with the new healthier models.

Nico: Not only the old Dorniers. We have a complete fleet of retired aircraft, which is the zap 340. Is the old dash 100, 200. So, there's no replacement available at the moment that is one of our target markets. Others are like gross markets China, Africa.

Vitaly: What would be the technical characteristics of the model, you are now developing?

Nico: As I said, it is based on the 328 platform so we are stretching it by 2.1 meter to get 40 passengers in…

Vitaly: And here you had…

Nico: 32

Vitaly: 32. So, eight extra packs…

Nico: Eight extra packs. We get a new propulsion system the newest technology for pride. It's called the XD engine which has longer on wing time and low fuel burn. We have a new avionics suite we're going with the Garmin-5000 uh there and all the other usual updates.

Vitaly: And who would be your classical, let's say, potential clients for that type of aircraft?

Nico: As I said before, operators, which have currently exhaust 340-100 all three to eight operators, and developing operators, which starting small point-to-point connections.

Vitaly: Especially probably european islands…

Nico: Oh, yeah.

Vitaly: From europe to uk…

Nico: We have a lot of that in Norway, but also the growth market china and china has developed a lot of new airports. So that other kind of of trips and personally i think in the future we will see a lot of trips below 300 nautical miles, need to be done by turboprop just by the propulsion efficiency and to get the CO2 emissions down.

Vitaly: Yeah-yeah. Mainly on green green idea.

Nico: For sure

Vitaly: And definitely, we are speaking about 26 beginning of production. I believe that by that time in China you will have plenty of airports. Even if now you do not have them there, but still considering the speed of their development...

Nico: I can tell you the Chinese are building faster than the Germans the berlin airport where we are here.

Vitaly: Yeah. No but still it's really impressive. I've been flying to shonenfield be in beginning of nineties, believe me, that was a horrible experience.

Nico: I agree.

Vitaly: And the production... Where are you planning to make a production?

Nico: The final seminar will be located on the airport in Leipzig.

Vitaly: Okay

Nico: Uh, the development, prototyping engineering and the product support is based out of our headquarters close to Munich.

Vitaly: Okay. Okay, so, and uh this is your first show because i haven't seen you on another aviation show?

Nico: No, it's not our first show. We have renamed. So maybe. We have name before "trade support services" before the name is "entailment support service" because we're in the past we are focused on the support and service of our fleet and now science 2017 we decided to go on a new product development.

Vitaly: The name you have now it's really really really nice.

Nico: It's a bit. Because we have the German heritage the Dornier heritage the other side aircraft. Because our owners here, Nevada Corporation is an American company so that's uh that's where the name comes.

Vitaly: Dornier tradition of construction of the aircrafts that's it's really impressive yeah This museum and Fridrihshafen it's it's really a place to be if you are uh interested in aviation.

Nico: Oh yeah I agree they've done a good job there.

Vitaly: And i think that's what's been developed it's like hundreds of years of experience so you're just.

Nico: Yeah, they started 1917. I think Florida here started in 1917 so it's 100 years quite a heritage, yeah.

Vitaly: Okay so uh you already signed letters of intent with the some producer? Or some buyer? So it's too early?

Nico: I know we have secured the most of our supply chain, so, as i said, engine landing gear wing fuse, and also binary is all secured.

Vitaly: And it would be european production or you buy also in china and other places?

Nico: When it is a global product, at the end of the day, we have quite some suppliers out of Germany. We are a German-based company. We have a lot of German engineering know-how, here so yeah.

Vitaly: But you see, most of top management from the jet producers, whom i've been speaking recently, they tell, that it's really big problems with spare parts, so you they cannot continue production in the normal scale. And you are starting new projects so how would you be able to do this.

Nico: I mean sometimes it's easier to start new from the greenfield there's. Also an opportunity, with that to get the new production industrialization steps in digitalization to these 3d conversions. But I would live or would not say it is a challenge in a current environment to build up a robust supply chain. So with COVID and also now with what's happening in the Ukraine. It's quite impacting back into business, but we're doing good finding our own ways and solutions we'd like to keep small and big, agile to adapt it.

Vitaly: Sure, for the redevelopment of Ukraine after the war, i think, that would work, because they destroyed quite a number of airports and the small air fields.

Nico: And the good thing is we don't need airports. We have a capability to run on unpaved.

Vitaly: Yearh that's that's

Nico: The key get - a kind of a kevlar gravel kit below, and you can land on grass trips on dry river beds, so that's quite...

Vitaly: Yeah, that's really important that's, why you mentioned Africa.

Nico: Yeah, correct, yeah, that's one thing do...

Vitaly: They have money in Africa to buy this?

Nico: Right there's money in Africa as well, yeah.

Vitaly: And how? This show been uh successful for you or...

Nico: Yeah, I mean this shows that the reason, why we are as our technology project, I would say, the show is very much based on military and technology.

Vitaly: Yeah.

Nico: So therefore we are more focused here how technology, we are working on it's, not so much a product.

Vitaly: And what is your next show you're planning to be?

Nico: Next show is Farnborough air show.

Vitaly: Yes, I'm coming there also, yes.

Nico: That's I'm looking forward for that. After all that cover time...

Vitaly: yeah yeah yeah

Nico: Everybody that's also the feeling you get here, everybody is quite happy to be out it.

Vitaly: But still here, I got an impression that you don't really have many visitors, i don't know why. Because probably people are a bit uh tired of the shows because the EBACE a week ago, last week it's Canada, Friedrichshafen Aero was very successful.

Nico: But, what I have to say, I find it's a high quality guys here, so it's maybe not the mass, but very good meetings, very good guys here, yeah.

Vitaly: And the team you have impresses me it's you have rather big teams so all the top management is here.

Nico: Yeah, yeah, for sure, I mean, we are a German-based company, so we have to be here, we have to we have to show up.

Vitaly: And so, but your product is really the only product. So you are not trying to increase the scale of different models.

Nico: There's always a start, and you have to be careful, that you don't run, before you can walk. So one-step after the other - that is our product, we are working on.

Vitaly: But even this product can be developed in different, uh let's say, areas, like, military or cargo maybe.

Nico: We have quite a quite a portfolio there on the mission side, so the DORNIER Swedish is flying like the front decks mission for example the search and rescue configuration. We have 21 aircrafts flying with the U.S. air force. It's called the c146 will found. We have the German ADAC they're flying at like a flying hospital. So we have all kinds of different configurations. Then you have the normal regional air charter - it's a corporate shuttle.

Vitaly: Firefighting below?

Nico: No firefighting we don't have. At least, I’m not aware about.

Vitaly: Okay.

Nico: But no transportation. So that other kind of configurations?

Vitaly: Hospital - it's a popular type of model?

Nico: I think we have two aircrafts in that configuration flying around.

Vitaly: How many beds have you?

Nico: It depends on the configuration - is this intensive care or just light transportation. I think, in terms of gear you get four beds in...

Vitaly: But it's for the… it's very interesting subject nowadays especially including this Ukrainian issue, I mean it's governmental or it's a private normal.

Nico: The ADCS - is private it's not government driven it's like. Yeah.

Vitaly: No, I mean hospitals who are who are buying these flying hospitals.

Nico: The ADCS - is a the German ultimate one club.

Vitaly: Uh okay okay okay

Nico: You can kind of choose there and then they fly you out if you have a kind of incident in your holiday or something.

Vitaly: Ah, okay

Nico: So, it's not a hospital it was.

Vitaly: But you have only two aircrafts like this.

Nico: We have two aircraft in that configuration.

Vitaly: And all of them are based in Germany in fact.

Nico: They're based in Nuremberg, I think, yeah.

Vitaly: Okay, because I have not seen we with the charter operator. We have quite a number of inquiries for the emergency transportation and intensive care, but normally it's very small aircraft, but this is really.

Nico: I mean the big benefit, if you have to do real work in the aircraft. Is your patient here you can stay in the middle, but you cannot in the small. One so it's very hard to work.

Vitaly: The small one it's just for transportation, but here you can really have an intensive care.

Nico: Correct, yeah.

Vitaly: So that's uh that's really interesting.

Nico: And we have also some vip versions flying. I think we've run about 10-12 aircraft in the vip config.

Vitaly: And how many seats in the vip?

Nico: It depends on the config, so between 9 to 19.

Vitaly: And so what is the maximum range for the vip version would be?

Nico: There's an extended range version available. You're coming close to two in an article.

Vitaly: Okay, and, probably, you would just install additional fuel time.

Nico: Yeah, on top you remove the pairings there back. Behind in the front of the wing and you get there then an extended range tanks and you get additional capacity of 1500 kilos.

Vitaly: Okay and can you please tell a bit a bit about this aircraft, what is the special here, I mean.

Nico: I mean the specialty here is as i said that this is a demonstrator. That is not a product, which is quite important. Here we try to test fuel cells on one side.

Vitaly: So so in original version you have only these white motors. Yes?

Nico: Correct, we have only two total drops.

Vitaly: Yes.

Nico: That additional ones is just for test purposes, so we have a kind of fuel system a fuselage system inside with an electric.

Vitaly: And this is a hydrogel engine or not? What kind of fuel you use for this?

Nico: It's electrical engine.

Vitaly: Electrical? So you have a... so it's like a batteries? You use batteries.

Nico: Fuel cell inside the cabin. The fuel generates out of water the electricity.

Vitaly: Yes.

Nico: And then you have an electrical engine, that's on a water.

Vitaly: So, this is the classical engine and this is electrical.

Nico: Correct.

Vitaly: And what for and why, what's, what is the idea behind?

Nico: It's just to test and learn and understand, how that all behaves in in in flight. You have different isolations, when you're in height for the electricity and you have to test and verify everything, so that...

Vitaly: But the idea was, to have like additional engine for the security or...

Nico: No, that's a test aircraft, just to learn to understand the technology.

Vitaly: Okay

Nico: So, and if you find, I mean there are different types, and later, on if the fuel cells otherwise developing further, maybe, it's a few electric driven aircraft later on. So there are different ways.

Vitaly: It's very interesting.

Nico: That's quite cool.

Vitaly: And tell me about your background, how you came to aviation?

Nico: Oh, I started in 2006 with "three trade support services". So, I started there's a on the avionic side later on i took over the maintenance and the production and the air science 2017 I’m  responsible for building up the three to eight echo program and bringing that aircraft back in the background.

Vitaly: So you are from the very beginning of this new project.

Nico: I am.

Vitaly: Okay.

Nico: We started with around about 100 people. Today we are 320. We're growing quite quickly: between 15 to 20 new guys per month, so it was a target by the end of the year slightly better.

Vitaly: But it's government who financing your redevelopment or it is private investments?

Nico: It's a mix. We have a risk-sharing partner with the German government as part of the program. We have Sierra Nevada as our mother, who is financing it.

Vitaly: Interesting. Thank you very much it's a very nice presentation, it's really nice to meet you here, in berlin. It's always, nice like American telling to hear news from the horse’s mouth.

Nico: From the horse's mouth, yeah. Thanks.

Vitaly: Thank you.

Nico: Thank you.

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