Turkish Regional Jet program move ahead

Turkey Regional aircraft TRJ328

U.S. based Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), has formed a wholly-owned subsidiary, TRJet Havacilik Teknolojileri Anonim Şirketi (TRJet) in Turkey, as part of developing the first Turkish regional jet.

The announcement at the Paris Air Show follows SNC’s May 27, 2015 signing of a Memorandum of Understanding involving the Savunma Teknolojileri Mühendislik ve Ticaret A.S. (STM) in support of the Turkish Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs & Communication’s Regional Aircraft Project.

The RAP will be initially based on a Dornier 328 (D328) aircraft upgraded to form theTRJ328™, Turkey’s first domestically-built passenger aircraft. The design of a larger 628 aircraft series, will start simultaneously with production of the 328 series. The intellectual property rights of D328 were recently acquired by SNC, following acquisition of subsidiary company 328 in Germany.

SNC will collaborate with STM on the program who will be responsible for upgrading the existing D328 and also manufacturing the aircraft. It will be marketed under the name TRJ328 for the jet engine powered version and T328 for the turboprop version.

With STM as the prime contractor, the program will also leverage the capabilities of Turkish companies, including Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) as subcontractor, along with several companies such as Aselsan, TEI, Havelsan, Alp Aviation, Kale Aviation and Turkish Cabin Interior Inc. (TCI).

SNC subsidiaries, 328 Support Services GmbH, 3S Certification LLC and 3S Engineering LLC will support SNC in building and producing these aircraft, including assisting in establishing an European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) -approved 21G aircraft production facility in Turkey.

Parallel with the manufacturing of the TRJ328 and T328 aircraft, with a seating capacity of 32, the program includes the future design and certification of new higher capacity TRJ628 jet and TR628 turboprop aircraft, with a proposed passenger seating capacity up to double that of the TRJ328.

The TRJ Series will be built and certified at a new commercial production facility in Turkey using significant investments by SNC.

SNC also plans to license production of  aircraft for sale in the United States, including sales to the U.S. government. The D328 is currently certified in 85 countries around the world, and is in use in many countries, including the U.S., Switzerland, Germany, U.K. and Denmark.

The Dornier 328 is a turboprop-powered commuter airliner. It was initially produced by Dornier Luftfahrt GmbH, which in 1996 was acquired by Fairchild Aircraft and renamed Fairchild-Dornier. The Dornier 328 was produced at the company’s plant in Germany and sold worldwide from its Texas, United States, offices. Fairchild-Dornier also undertook the Fairchild-Dornier 428JET program to develop a 44-seat regional jet.

SNC is privately held by Turkish born U.S. business man Fatih Ozmen and wife Eren. The company is developing a spaceplane named Dreamchaser.