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.”
Montréal-Mirabel International Airport
Bombardier expects the largest airplane it has ever built–the 100-seat CRJ1000–to take to the skies for the first time this month, on schedule and on budget. Plans call for the only CRJ1000 prototype to embark on a 14-month flight test regime expected to result in certification and first delivery to launch customer Brit Air in the fourth quarter of next year.
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.
Pratt & Whitney Canada last month announced its plan to invest $90 million in the construction of a new flight-test operations center at Montreal Mirabel International Airport. The 164,000-sq-ft facility will feature two bays and will support a range of engines, from turboprops to turbofans producing up to 90,000 pounds of thrust.
Bombardier Aerospace officially opened last month its Commercial Service Center (CSC) in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada. The CSC is “dedicated to the specific service and support needs of the more than 1,600 out-of-production de Havilland DHC-1 through -7 aircraft still in production,” according to Bombardier.
FAIRCHILD/SWEARINGEN SA-226-TC METROLINER, MONTREAL, QUEBEC, JUNE 18, 1998–Often layers of events come together to create catastrophes. Pilots may handle individual layers successfully, but combined those layers are often insurmountable. Nine passengers and two pilots died after the left wing of a Metroliner failed during an emergency landing at Mirabel/Montreal International Airport (CYMX).
Bombardier’s board of directors issued authority to the company’s aerospace division to formally offer its proposed C Series airliner to potential customers. Bombardier Aerospace new commercial aircraft president Gary Scott told AIN that he now needs at least one, if not two, “high quality” customers for between 50 and 100 airplanes to gain launch approval from the board.
Sure, you can fly, but you can’t travel. That was the case with Bell Helicopter Textron’s new Model 429, still in the test-flight phase. The speedy light twin intended for display at Heli-Expo 2008 was in Canada and flight-ready, but it had less than the 25 flight hours needed before it could legally be flown across the border into the U.S.
While pledging to retain its North American headquarters in Grand Prairie, Texas, French engine maker Turbomeca has announced plans to open a new service, support and maintenance center in Mirabel, Canada, just a few scant miles from Bell Helicopter’s major civil manufacturing center in the same town. The new center will support the needs of the roughly 300 Turbomeca-made powerplants in service throughout Canada.
Belgian aerospace company Sonaca is investing C$17 million in the expansion of its Sonaca NMF Canada subsidiary in Mirabel, Quebec. Sonaca NMF Canada provides most of the wing skins Bombardier uses for its CRJ regional aircraft and its business jets (Global Express, Learjet and Challenger series except the Challenger 300).