Bombardier, the Canadian aircraft manufacturer, says that it will continue to refine its C Series regional jet. The Montreal-headquartered company says that the programme”s team continues to optimise the aircraft configuration to meet customers' requirements for a more economical, flexible and passenger-oriented airliner. The new target date for entry into service is now 2013.
Industry watchers, with long memories, may recall that it followed the same policy with the Q400 ” a slow deliberation before the go-ahead announcement.
"The decision process related to the launch of an aircraft programme with more than a 20-year lifespan takes time and requires a well-defined business plan to ensure the programme's long-term success," said Bombardier Aerospace president and chief operating officer Pierre Beaudoin. "As we have previously confirmed, the C Series plan includes international partnerships, and discussions are progressing. We continue to see the lower end of the 100- to 149-seat market as a segment with a solid potential. We will provide the next update on the status of our C Series aircraft programme in late March 2007."
New developments under consideration include increased use of composite material for the wing and fuselage and the next-generation engine technology, which could yield up to 15% better fuel burn than the existing technology on aircraft in production today.
Heightened customer and supplier interest are said to confirm Bombardier's belief in addressing the lower end of the 100- to 149-seat market segment, estimated at 5,800 aircraft over the next 20 years.