The 2008 Farnborough International airshow (held from July 14 through 20) largely confounded widespread predictions that provide clear evidence of an industry heading into a downturn. A fresh wave of airliner orders, mainly from carriers in the fast-growing Middle Eastern and Asian markets, bolstered Airbus and Boeing, along with their phalanx of global suppliers.
With a fresh coat of paint and 60 hours of logged time under its wing since it started flying on March 7, the first of two flight-test versions of Bombardier’s new Global 5000 made its public debut at the week-long Paris Air Show last month.
Bombardier Aerospace yesterday signed a contract with China’s Shenyang Aircraft Corp. (SAC) to supply the center fuselages for the newly launched C-Series family of single-aisle airliners.
The contract between Bombardier and SAC is an integral part of the relationship with the state-owned aviation-industrial entity China Aviation Industry Corp. (AVIC I), of which SAC is a subsidiary.
Embraer rolled up to the show with a raft of E-Jet orders, including five firm positions plus five options for 190s from Niki Lauda’s low-fare airline Niki, but the Brazilian manufacturer played down threats from Bombardier’s C-Series, which its Canadian rival launched before the show.
Clouds of dry ice swirled around onlookers as Pratt & Whitney revealed a full-scale model of its new “PurePower” PW1000G geared turbofan (GTF) on its stand yesterday. The engine is performing “outstandingly well” in flight tests now under way, said Pratt & Whitney president Steve Finger, who added, “This is the first of a new generation of ultra high bypass engines.”
Bombardier announced here yesterday the long-anticipated launch of its C-Series family of single-aisle airliners. The company also revealed that final assembly will occur in Mirabel, Quebec, laying to rest any speculation that production would move south of the U.S.-Canada border, specifically to Kansas City. Bombardier president and CEO Pierre Beaudoin called it “an historic day for Bombardier.”
“A strong market for strong products” is driving growth at Bombardier Aerospace, according to president and chief executive officer Pierre Beaudoin. The Canadian group is increasing its 27,000-strong workforce even as it faces the challenge of achieving earnings growth targets subject to currency exchange fluctuations that have led it to outsource more work to lower-cost partners.
The latest option for owners of Challenger 604 business jets is the enhanced version of the Safe Flight AutoPower system, which was installed and certified under a supplemental type certificate by Bombardier Business Aviation Services in Tucson, Ariz. The system will be offered as an option on new production aircraft or a retrofit item on older 604s.
Walking away from a wage settlement endorsed by their own union leadership, 8,000 rank and file members of Local 712 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace workers had shut down the assembly lines for Bombardier Regional Jets and, as of press time, effectively stymied production of both Challenger business jets and RJs by stopping fabrication of critical subassemblies for those aircraft.
Bombardier Aerospace’s business aircraft market forecast, released last week, predicts that 1,320 business jets, ranging from light twinjets to corporate airliners, will be delivered annually over the next 10 years. According to the Canadian aircraft manufacturer, this is more than a twofold increase from the industry average of about 620 business jets delivered annually between 1998 and 2007.