Bombardier’s Belfast unit has begun testing the C Series airliner’s composite demonstrator wing, marking the latest milestone in the development of the aircraft, due to enter service in 2013. Responsible for the design, development and manufacture of the composite wings for the aircraft, the Belfast operation has successfully assembled a full-scale, three-quarter span pre-production demonstrator wing using its resin transfer infusion process.
Bombardier constructed a specially designed rig representing the outer wing to center wing box and center fuselage attachments, including a simulated main landing gear leg and a simulated engine and pylon. Engineers will apply controlled loading to those key areas of the demonstrator, thereby replicating the maximum loading conditions expected to occur in service. The subsequent data collected will allow Bombardier’s engineers to validate their stress and design assumptions.
“Producing this demonstrator has been a significant investment for us, but will bring significant benefits,” said Michael Ryan, vice president and general manager, Bombardier Aerospace, Belfast. “Through a rigorous testing program, we will get real test data from the demonstrator, which will enable us to optimize the design of the actual C Series aircraft production wing. This will allow us to create the lightest weight solution with the utmost confidence in the wing’s structural integrity.
“Having carried out several thousand individual material and detail tests to date, we are delighted with the progress of the C Series aircraft wing development program, and are looking forward to gathering the data that will help us determine the wing’s final design,” added Ryan.
Since launching the C Series family of aircraft at the Farnborough Air Show in July 2008, Bombardier has recorded firm orders for a total of 90 of the type, including a firm order from Republic Airways for 40 CS300s, a firm order from Deutsche Lufthansa AG for 30 CS100s and one from Lease Corporation International Group for 17 CS300s and three CS100s. The program has also booked options for another 90 airplanes.