Shenyang may resume CSeries supplier role in 2013: Bombardier

Washington DC
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Bombardier will continue to source the centre fuselage and wingbox of the CSeries from Northern Ireland and Spain instead of original supplier Shenyang Aircraft for at least several months, says programme manager Robert Dewar.

The fuselage of the first 110-seat CS100, dubbed FTV-1, arrived in Montreal with the wingbox supplied by Aernnova and mated to a centre barrel built in Belfast by Bombardier's Short Brothers division.

Bombardier originally planned to deliver the centre barrel and wingbox as a single assembly from AVIC's Shenyang plant. The Chinese supplier delivered a fuselage test barrel to Bombardier in August 2009 and broke ground on a 21,000m² (226,000ft²) factory for CSeries production in March 2010.

But Bombardier has opted to source the centre fuselage assembly from Europe well into 2013. The delay of deliveries from China is necessary while Shenyang matures its manufacturing processes, Dewar says.

Bombardier has not assigned a line number for a production CSeries aircraft to make the transition to a Shenyang centre fuselage assembly, Dewar adds. But the company has created a "gated" process with several milestones for Shenyang to meet, he says. Bombardier is continuously review Shenyang's progress, and intends to make the transition to the Chinese supplier sometime in 2013, Dewar says.

Until then, the centre fuselage has been entrusted to two long-time suppliers to Bombardier's Montreal plant. Aernnova is well-known to Bombardier's commercial aircraft supply chain, delivering the horizontal and vertical stabilisers for the CRJ700 and CRJ900 for more than a decade.