Long held plans to put the Fokker 100 back into production have gained a boost, with the Dutch government providing a loan to fund the development of a prototype new generation version of the aircraft.
NG Aircraft, which is a successor to the Rekoff company which has been planning to restart production of the Fokker 100, says that the Dutch SenterNovem agency will provide it with a €20m (A$30m) loan to develop a demonstration ‘next generation’ aircraft from an existing Fokker 100 airframe. The aircraft is expected to be based on the fuselage of the original aircraft, but will feature an updated wing, new engines and systems. The company is aiming to assemble the first example aircraft by 2015.
The Dutch government is still required to obtain clearance from the European Union for the loan, which is expected by June, after which the first details of the modification work will be released.
According to reports from the Netherlands, three regional airlines have expressed interest in a reborn Fokker 100, although this it unlikely to include KLM, which is in the process of replacing its Fokker fleet with Embraer E-Jets.