Bombardier set a new record for business jet deliveries in its latest financial year, shipping 212 airplanes in the 12 months to January 2007. But the weakness of the U.S. dollar means the Canadian industrial group’s aerospace division, with much of its manufacturing concentrated in Canada and the UK, has some way to go to match industry-best margins.
Bombardier Challenger 300
Bombardier received FAA approval last month of the Honeywell TFE731-20BR upgrade for the Learjet 45 and has started delivering upgraded aircraft–known as the Learjet 45XR–about one year later than originally planned.
Bombardier delivered its first corporate-owned Challenger 300 to Dean Phillips Inc., a multi-services company based in Quincy, Ill. A Bombardier customer since 1993, Dean Phillips also operates a Learjet 60. Company president Dean Phillips and his wife both have Learjet type ratings. They have also received training to fly the super-midsize business jet.
A new self-contained lavatory water system developed by Fullerton, Calif.-based Adams Rite Aerospace has received FAA, JAA and Transport Canada approval for installation in the Bombardier Challenger 300. A similar system, now in development, is an optional item for the Challenger 300 galley. The new design, according to Adams Rite, eliminates the need for heavier, traditional bleed-air/compressor-powered designs.
The second and final test Bombardier Global 5000 took its first, four-hour flight northwest of Toronto on January 8. During the inaugural flight it reached an altitude of 17,000 feet and an indicated airspeed of 340 knots.
Barry Eccleston wants to take Honeywell back into the commercial helicopter business in a big way, while at the same time finding another airframe on which to hang the company’s newly renamed HTF7000 turbofan, which now powers only the Bombardier Challenger 300.
Bombardier’s fractional aircraft ownership division, Flexjet, is now operating the first Challenger 300s to enter service. Flexjet is scheduled to receive 25 of the super-midsize business jets. At press time, Flexjet had logged 64 hours in 43 flights using the new aircraft, with “no issues,” according to a Bombardier spokesman.
It’s one of those problems providers might like to see but that can be exasperating for their customers–more demand than capacity. The completion and refurbishment industry in the U.S. is struggling to keep up with demand as sales of new and used business aircraft continue to grow, and now Canadian shops are facing the same challenge.
Although a strike last summer at Learjet facilities in Wichita held down aircraft deliveries in the third quarter of this year compared with the same period last year, Bombardier announced yesterday that it delivered 143 business jets in the first nine months of its fiscal year ending October 31, compared with 132 in the corresponding nine months last year.
It’s one of those problems the industry likes to see–more demand than capacity. The completion and refurbishment industry in the U.S. is struggling to keep up with the demand as sales of new and used business aircraft continue to grow, and now Canadian shops are facing the same challenge.