Monday, 12 July 2021

Deutsche Aircraft mark key milestone with its D328eco


Deutsche Aircraft confirmed today, it has successfully concluded the first series of tests at the facilities of the Germany-based partner Heggemann on the new landing gear, currently in development to be fitted onto the D328ecoTM aircraft. The landing gear development programme has now officially entered into the detail design phase.

As part of the development programme, Heggemann is building three testbeds for systems engineering bench tests as well as evaluation on the first prototypes for the D328ecoTM. Heggemann will provide the complete landing gear structures and systems of both main- and nose landing gear.

This new landing gear will allow the D328ecoTM to inherit the robustness of its predecessor D328 and will increase operational capabilities towards the higher aircraft operational weight. Furthermore, the new landing gears will support unpaved runway operation, on a variety of rough surfaces such as grass, gravel, ice and sand.  

“We're glad to get Heggemann as a strong business partner with key capabilities, know-how and a great team spirit on board of the D328ecoTM programme. We are confident that Heggemann is the right partner to industrialise and produce our Landing Gear, which is a key element of the versatility, mission flexibility and performance of the D328ecoTM”, said Nico Neumann, Vice President Operations and Programmes of Deutsche Aircraft.

Deutsche Aircraft’s partnership with Heggemann is not only built upon strong past collaborations but is also further strengthened by the two companies sharing similar visions. Both are dedicated to sustainable and efficient Industry 4.0 manufacturing. While Deutsche Aircraft is planning to build a state-of-the-art final assembly line in Leipzig, Heggemann already implemented a fully digital 360° end-to-end process and product lifecycle tracking system. Both companies keep the majority of production in Germany and benefit from experienced aviation talents in building Germany’s next regional aircraft.

“We are delighted to join the effort on this exciting new D328eco programme which is being developed at an opportune time where the world is more and more opening to air travel, sometimes without the possibility to offer proper runways to land or infrastructure to support the aircraft and crew. Being highly flexible, with short runway performances, the D328eco aircraft plays in a class of its own and the current work on the landing gear will increase the reach of destinations’ possibilities. Besides, working with Deutsche Aircraft is further supporting the development of collaborative opportunities within the local supply chain while supporting the growth of the German aviation’s industry”, said Robert Heggemann, CEO and founder of Heggemann.

The Deutsche Aircraft program, currently in the concept design phase, is focused on the specification of the new systems, qualification of materials and new production process to align with today standards and secure efficiency for the industrialisation. The regional aircraft program continues to be led out of Oberpfaffenhofen airport near Munich and planning work has commenced to establish the final assembly line at Leipzig Halle Airport.


Deutsche Aircraft and H2FLY join forces to explore hydrogen-powered flight



H2FLY, a German start-up developing hydrogen fuel cell systems for aircraft, and Deutsche Aircraft, a new German aircraft manufacturer putting climate change at the centerstage of their design philosophy, today announced they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”) to work together on the research and development of Hydrogen Fuel Cell technology for commercial regional aircraft.

The partnership will see the two companies convert the Dornier 328 aircraft for hydrogen flight, with the demonstrator aircraft expected to take to the skies in 2025. The program is expected to validate the potential for hydrogen to deliver climate-neutral regional air travel with up to 40 seats, while demonstrating German leadership in this important field.

Having grown out of a partnership between the German Aerospace Center and the University of Ulm, H2FLY has demonstrated innovative Hydrogen Fuel Cell technology in aviation. The four-seater hydrogen-electric-powered HY4 proved successfully in multiply flight campaigns and over 70 take-offs the applicability of this technology in aviation. With its range of up to 750 km regional markets can be developed.

Today’s announcement marks the next step on the journey towards making climate neutral regional flight a reality, with the teams planning to equip the demonstrator aircraft with a 1.5MW hydrogen system, making it the most powerful hydrogen-electric-powered aircraft to date.

The project will see the companies work together on integrating the power system into the aircraft as well as defining the specific technical and certification requirements for fuel cell systems in EASA’s large aircraft class (“CS25”). The project is designed to complement the German Federal Government’s Aviation Strategy.


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