PARIS - Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany's Deutsche Aircraft announced at the Paris Air Show that the German Aerospace Center (DLR) selected the company for a conversion of a Dornier 328 Turboprop into a flying testbed. The procurement, conversion and use as a flying testbed is part of the UpLift project for research into technologies for the use of hydrogen in aviation.
DLR will act as the project manager for UpLift. Deutsche Aircraft is one of the project partners and will contribute its expertise as an aircraft manufacturer. The plan is to test pioneering propulsion, fuel and system technologies under real flight conditions in order to accelerate research and development. The funding for 2023 to 2025 is part of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection (BMWK) aviation research program LuFo Klima, which is how the German government is supporting the aviation industry on its way to CO2 neutrality and climate compatibility.
The D328 provides a platform for demonstrating new components and systems under test since it has a wide stand-up cabin which allows for various modular options. The turboprop has a 30,000-foot flight ceiling, an upgradeable flight deck, the option to convert to 100% SAF, and strong field performance. The overall performance and robustness of the aircraft, the expandable cockpit and the possibility of testing sustainable aviation fuel and, in the future, hydrogen or other sustainable energy sources in flight, make the D328 a suitable tool for the research project. Future system technologies, fuel cells, fuel systems and their integration will play an important role here.
The D328 is suitable for assessing innovative propulsion technologies in flight due to its specific design characteristics. In addition, the D328 is used worldwide for regional commercial flights with usual propulsion technologies, providing a wealth of reference values for the evaluation of new technologies.