Learjet 85 Composite Work Goes South of the Border
Bombardier Aerospace late last week announced that it will manufacture the all-composite structure for the new Learjet 85 at its facility in Querétaro, Mexico. In addition, the Querétaro site will be responsible for making the electrical harness and performing subassembly systems installation for the twinjet. According to Bombardier, final assembly, interior completions, flight test and customer delivery of the Learjet 85 will still be done at Bombardier’s Wichita facility. “Mexico is key to the development of a highly competitive aerospace industry in Central and South America, as well as to Bombardier’s increased competitiveness in the international marketplace,” said Bombardier Aerospace vice president of engineering and supply chain Jean Séguin. This reflects similar moves by competitors Hawker Beechcraft and Cessna in setting up component manufacturing operations in Mexico, but Bombardier is taking a much bigger leap by building whole structures there. Meanwhile, Grob Aerospace will continue to develop the composite structure of the Learjet 85 and produce said structure during the initial production cycle. During this period, Bombardier will transfer composite manufacturing from Grob to its Querétaro site. The Learjet 85 is slated to enter service in 2012.