Bombardier Aerospace has begun staffing its freshly established new commercial aircraft division outside Montreal as it looks toward the launch of a new 115- to 135-seat jet by next spring. Still without an official designation, the proposed three-member family would propel the Canadian aerospace power outside its traditional realm of business aircraft and regional airliner assembly and into the company of Boeing and Airbus.
Last month the Indian Government signed for five Embraer Legacy Executives for head-of-state use. Four of the twinjets, which are business-jet versions of the ERJ-135 regional airliner, will replace the BAE Systems Avro quad-jets operated by the Palam-based Air HQ Communication Squadron of the Indian Air Force, which transports the country’s president, vice president and prime minister, among other dignitaries.
As more signs of air transport recovery rise out of a global economy still hampered by geopolitical unrest, regional airlines continue to parlay their cost and flexibility advantages into steady gains in traffic and profits, even while their mainline counterparts struggle to reverse the near disastrous effects of 9/11, the invasion of Iraq and the outbreak of SARS in the Far East.
Bombardier recently opened its Tucson, Ariz. Part 145 repair station for CRJ and Q-series aircraft. Bombardier Regional Aircraft Services Tucson is modeled after Bombardier’s other heavy-maintenance facility, the West Virginia Air Center (WVAC) in Bridgeport, W. Va. The 131,000-sq-ft facility, designed to support U.S.-based regional airline operators, can handle as many as 10 regional aircraft at a time.
Addressing what it sees as a gap between its popular Challenger 604 and ultra-long-range Global Express business jets, Bombardier unveiled late last month in Montreal the Global 5000, the twelfth new or derivative airplane the Canadian business and regional aircraft manufacturer has introduced over the last nine years.
Bombardier Regional Aircraft Customer Support is strengthening its presence in Japan in response to the growing fleets–and requirements–of CRJ and Q-Series operators in the country.
Completion and modification specialist PATS Aircraft (Booth No. 2857) has announced a partnership with Tailwind Capital to offer executive/VIP conversions of the Bombardier CRJ-200 regional airliner. The conversions include an auxiliary fuel system to extend the range to 3,000 nm.
Canada-based aircraft completions specialist Flying Colours (Booth No. 4625) has unveiled plans for expansion of its Peterborough, Ontario location. In addition to its existing 60,000 sq ft facility–which is dedicated to exterior painting, interior completions and modifications, aircraft maintenance and repair–Flying Colours is beginning construction on another 30,000-sq-ft building that it expects to complete early next year.
Rockwell Collins’ HGS-6605 head-up guidance system (HGS) will be a new option on Bombardier’s recently certified Challenger 605.
The agreement, said John Desmond, v-p of head-up guidance systems for Rockwell Collins, “builds on a long tradition of providing Bombardier with…head-up display technology.” That tradition includes the Challenger 604, the CRJ series and the Q-Series turboprop regional airliner.
An extended period of order taking for the world’s makers of regional airliners showed little sign of relenting last month, as Canada’s Bombardier grabbed at least two more major orders for CRJ regional jets while Brazil’s Embraer and the Franco-Italian ATR partnership counted the proceeds from a busy Paris Air Show.