November 14, 2012
Credit: Credit: Bombardier
Bombardier’s U.K. unit is handling some tasks originally assigned to Shenyang Aircraft in the CSeries development program, with a view to eventually returning the work to the Avic Group unit, Bombardier says.
Problems that arose at Shenyang raised program risks, resulting in the decision earlier this year to shift the work temporarily, says Andy Solem, VP for North Asian sales of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, although he declined to specify the exact difficulties encountered.
So, although Shenyang Aircraft’s effort is behind schedule, Solem says the problem has “absolutely not” contributed to the six-month delay in the first flight of the CSeries announced on Nov. 7. “We caught it,” he told Aviation Week at Airshow China at Zhuhai, in southern China. Some of Shenyang’s work was moved to Bombardier’s Belfast operation in Northern Ireland, he says. “We have tooling there [at Belfast], and we have experienced people there.”
Shenyang Aircraft is part of Avic’s fighter unit, Avic Aviation Technologies, which has subcontracted CSeries work to a civil affiliate, SACC. At Shenyang, a city in northeastern China, 300 Avic employees and 150 from Bombardier are working on the CSeries, says Solem. With such a large presence, it is clear that Bombardier has been able to keep in close touch with Shenyang Aircraft’s progress, which allowed the airframer to act in time.
Shenyang Aircraft and SACC build about half of the structure of the Q400 turboprop, having progressively taken over more of the airframe manufacturing. Bombardier expects the Chinese partner to do the same with the CSeries, for which Shenyang Aircraft is already contracted for the forward, center and rear fuselage sections, plus the tail, tail cone, wing-body fairing and the center wing box.
Shenyang Aircraft has delivered part of the structure that Bombardier is using for ground tests in Canada. The Chinese company is also developing some of what it is building; many of the Bombardier staff at Shenyang are supporting that aspect of the work.
The first CSeries prototype is now due to fly in June.