Bombardier begins construction of CSeries composite wing facility

The facility, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, will use Bombardier's Resin Transfer Infusion advanced composites process to manufacture the plane's wings.

Bombardier Aerospace (Montréal, Québec, Canada) on Nov. 17 announced a milestone in the CSeries aircraft program as construction got under way on its new composite wing manufacturing and assembly facility in Belfast, Northern Ireland. 

“This is another significant milestone in the ongoing development of the CSeries aircraft program. In August, the test fuselage barrel arrived ahead of schedule at our St-Laurent, Québec site, from China, and in September we celebrated the groundbreaking of our first CSeries aircraft manufacturing building in Mirabel, Québec.  The CSeries aircraft program is progressing well and to schedule, and we look forward to receiving the first test wing from Belfast in 2011,” said Guy Hachey, president and COO, Bombardier Aerospace.

Bombardier Belfast has successfully assembled a pre-production demonstrator wing using its innovative Resin Transfer Infusion advanced composites process, and is on track to begin testing this in early 2010. Testing will be undertaken in a specialized test rig where hydraulic jacks will be used to induce bending and twisting into the wing structure, replicating every possible combination of severe loading that the wing may experience in service.

Almost 400 engineering and support staff in Belfast are currently engaged in the research and development of the wings. Some 800 jobs will be generated during full production, as well as many more in the wider supply chain. In addition, around 450 construction personnel are involved in this first phase of the building project. 

The new 600,000-sq-ft/55,742-sq-m factory is being built in two phases and will incorporate an existing production building. The facility’s design and layout are being optimised both for the production process and to minimise environmental impact.  The structure will ensure maximum energy efficiency, and will incorporate low energy solutions into its mechanical and electrical infrastructure.  Waste management was also a key consideration in the design, with a particular focus being given to waste segregation and recycling.

Since launching the CSeries family of aircraft at the Farnborough Air Show in July 2008, Bombardier has recorded firm orders for 50 CS100 and CS300 aircraft from Deutsche Lufthansa AG and Lease Corporation International Group. The CSeries aircraft, which are optimized for the longer range, single-aisle 100- to 145-seat market, will deliver the lowest operating costs in their class, exceptional operational flexibility, wide body comfort and an unmatched environmental scorecard.