The severe financial problems at Fairchild Dornier have left the Envoy 3 and 7 programs in doubt. Ironically (or perhaps intentionally), the 728 regional jet platform for the Envoy 7 was rolled out on March 21, just before the company filed for insolvency on April 2.
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.
Bombardier Aerospace expanded its U.S. heavy maintenance presence last month with the official opening of a 131,000-square foot facility in Tucson, Ariz. Bombardier Regional Aircraft Services joins fellow subsidiary West Virginia Air Center as the centerpiece ofthe company’s efforts to exploit the increasing overhaul needs of a maturing nationwide fleet.
PSA Airlines took delivery last month of the first of 25 seventy-seat Bombardier CRJ700s ordered from Bombardier Aerospace, marking the start of the second phase of a fleet restructuring that will see the retirement of the Dayton, Ohio-based airline’s Dornier 328 turboprops.
Brazil’s Embraer said it will lay off 1,800 workers, reduce deliveries this year from 185 to 160 and lower its forecast delivery rate from 205 to 135 next year as part of a plan to stem losses expected to result from September 11. Although the company said all firm orders remain in effect, it expects a number of customers to defer option conversions until the global economic outlook improves.
How many in-flight engine shutdowns have you had in your career? For the crew of a General Electric CF34-powered Challenger 604 owned by David Wetherell, the answer would be two. One per engine, over a five-week period, in a brand-new aircraft with about 100 hr TT.
During a recent press conference to report quarterly results, Bombardier Aerospace president and CEO Pierre Beaudoin dismissed as untrue persistent industry speculation that the Learjet line is on the block or that Learjet assembly work and the role of the Wichita flight-test center would be moved from Wichita to Montreal. The Tucson facility will become a dedicated service center for Bombardier’s business and regional jets.
Last February, Pierre Beaudoin, son of Bombardier chairman Laurent Beaudoin, replaced Robert Gillespie as president and COO of Bombardier Aerospace Business Aircraft. Now Beaudoin has replaced Michael Graff as president and COO of Bombardier Aerospace.
Bombardier this week released its first-ever forecast for the business aviation market segments in which it competes, and the Canadian company’s crystal ball is about as rosy as anyone else’s.
Last month, Bombardier Aerospace launched a “classic aircraft support program” after seeing a “dramatic increase” in service and support requests over the past three years from operators of older Learjets and Challengers. But there is a catch–operators are required to pay for the service.