Bombardier opens facilities in Mexico, Ireland

Bombardier opens its Querétaro, Mexico, facility, which will make composite fuselage and wing structures for the Learjet 85. Bombardier's Belfast, Ireland, facility will manufacture composite wings for the new CSeries jet.

Bombardier Aerospace (Montréal, Quebec, Canada) on Oct. 21 inaugurated its new Learjet 85 aircraft component manufacturing facility in the Querétaro Aerospace Park in the state of Querétaro, Mexico.

The construction of the 185,000-ft² (17,187m²) Learjet 85 aircraft component manufacturing center was completed in July. The fabrication of development parts soon followed, and the fabrication of parts for the first aircraft is now underway. 

The Querétaro facility is responsible for the fabrication of the Learjet 85 aircraft’s major composite structures. During the past three months, more than 150 tools, including many major lay-up tools, have been fabricated and shipped to the new Learjet 85 aircraft component manufacturing site. Equipment installation has progressed well with the completion of the cleanroom for lay-up activity, freezer installation to house the composite material, and installation of three ovens. The factory layout makes use of the latest lean manufacturing methodologies.

Bombardier Aerospace Mexico’s manufacturing responsibility for the Learjet 85 aircraft program includes fuselage lay-up and sub-system installation, wiring harness fabrication and installation, wing assembly, and horizontal and vertical stabilizer assemblies.

Irish facility for CSeries

In Ireland, Bombardier says the first phase of construction of the 600,000-ft² (55,742m²) facility in Belfast that will house the manufacture and assembly of the advanced composite wings for the all-new CSeries commercial aircraft has been completed on schedule.

Bombardier’s Belfast operation is responsible for the design, manufacture and integration of the advanced composite wings for the CSeries aircraft, including all flight control surfaces and high-lift systems.

The first phase of the new building incorporates a production area, a low contamination “clean room” area and an area for tool storage. The main equipment, including a fabric cutter, multiple-axis machine cell, preformers and autoclave, is currently being installed and commissioned in preparation for production of the CSeries aircraft wings, which is due to begin in 2011.As part of the wing research and development program, Bombardier’s Belfast operation has developed an innovative resin transfer infusion (RTI) technology to manufacture the large one-piece wing skins and structural spars for the wing torque box. It has manufactured and assembled a pre-production demonstrator wing, which has been successfully tested to ultimate load, replicating 150 percent of the most severe forces the wing is likely to experience in service.

Several local Northern Ireland companies have been engaged in the production of the demonstrator wing, in addition to the local firms involved in the design, construction and equipping of the new wing facility. 

The CSeries aircraft product development team at Bombardier’s St-Laurent manufacturing facility in Montréal has reported a successful test mating of an advanced composite wing portion to a composite wing box.

"The test joining of the outer wing portion to the centre wing box is a significant milestone during the detail design phase of the CSeries aircraft program," said Benjamin Boehm, vice president, Programs, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. "The test represents the manufacturing requirements for the aircraft long before we begin production, and we are very encouraged by the demonstrator development work and results achieved by our Belfast and St-Laurent facilities.”