Bombardier Readies C Series Fuselage Barrel for Testing

 - August 26, 2009, 12:00 PM

Bombardier next month plans to start more than a year of testing with the first aluminum-lithium test barrel for the C Series narrowbody that was delivered from Chinese partner Shenyang Aircraft on Monday. Now located at Bombardier’s Ville Saint-Laurent, Quebec manufacturing plant, the test barrel represents the main fuselage section of the airplane. Its production and testing will demonstrate manufacturing and engineering concepts before the aircraft’s final design phase begins next year, said Bombardier. The company expects the 110- to 135-seat airplane to enter service in 2013.

The test barrel, which measures some 23 feet long and about 12 feet in diameter, left Shenyang Aircraft’s plant in Dalian, China, on July 20, traveled across the Pacific and then 2,500 miles from California to Quebec.

Under the terms of a contract first delineated during the 2007 Paris Air Show, Shenyang Aircraft will build a little more than 10 percent of the C Series. The company will also supply the C Series’ empennage, and currently builds the aft and forward fuselage sections for Bombardier’s Q400 turboprop.

Meanwhile, the C Series program recently completed high-speed, low-speed and high-lift wind tunnel testing at various facilities including Onera F1 in Toulouse, France, ETW in Cologne, Germany and ARA in Bedford, UK. Bombardier said it finished the tests on schedule and they confirmed the airplane’s performance assumptions.