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 Global Express
Banking and oil heir Michael Huffington, who is suing Bombardier over a Global Express he first ordered in 1995 and later rejected after he learned the aircraft had been struck by lightning, has produced a consultant’s report hoping to bolster his lawsuit against Bombardier. That report claims that the GEX is far more likely to be hit by lightning and suffer serious damage than its competitors. Bombardier disputes the report.
The Global 5000, billed by Bombardier as “the world’s fastest” intercontinental super-large business jet, received full type approval from Transport Canada late last month, clearing the way for first deliveries of green production aircraft to begin this spring.
Canadian manufacturer Bombardier delivered the first Challenger 300 from its Montreal center in January. Before a restructuring last year, the company had expected to do Challenger 300 interiors at its Tucson, Ariz. facility, but shifted the responsibility to its new integrated manufacturing center in Montreal. The center combines final assembly activities with interior completion and paint for all of its Challenger business jet line.
The one unmistakable message that came out of this year’s Asian Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (ABACE) is that business aviation in Asia is no longer merely a talking point. While the region still faces challenges, there is progress on every front and aircraft are moving passengers throughout the region in unprecedented numbers.
Transport Canada has certified the SureSight I-series infrared (IR) enhanced-vision system (EVS) sensor developed by CMC Electronics, marking one of the last steps before certification and production approval of the complete EVS for the Bombardier Global Express XRS.
Canadian authorities have approved the installation of a Max-Viz EVS-1000 enhanced vision system (EVS) aboard a Global Express. The U.S.-registered jet received the upgrade at ABC Completions in Montreal and gained Canadian approval in late December. An STC from the FAA covering the installation was expected by the end of last month.
Dassault last month spectacularly bridged the gap between virtual reality and reality when it unveiled the first assembled Falcon 7X business jet at its Bordeaux Mérignac factory in southwest France. The February 15 event highlighted the fully digital design and manufacturing processes (see page 50) of the 5,700-nm-range trijet.
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.
Bombardier successfully completed wing mating on the first Global Express XRS at the company’s de Havilland facility in Toronto on November 9. Technicians from Bombardier and wing manufacturer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries reported no issues in joining the 94-foot-span wing to the fuselage of the first production airplane, S/N 9159. The wing is essentially the same as that on the Global Express, from which the XRS is derived.