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Bombardier celebrates groundbreaking for new CSeries aircraft manufacturing site

Today marked a major achievement for the CSeries aircraft program as Bombardier Aerospace celebrated the groundbreaking of the first CSeries aircraft building in Québec, Canada. Located at Mirabel, 45 minutes north of Montréal, the Complete Integrated Aircraft Systems Test Area (CIASTA) is a testing and systems-proving facility that will house a virtual CSeries test aircraft. The CIASTA will test aircraft systems for reliability and functionality one year before the first prototype aircraft flies.

Attended by Bombardier's employees, suppliers, partners, customers and the media, the groundbreaking lays the path for the new aircraft's entry into service in 2013.

"It's a red-letter day for the program and an important day for Bombardier Aerospace," noted Guy Hachey, President and Chief Operating Officer, Bombardier Aerospace in his remarks to the assembled guests. "Today we begin work on the facilities that will be the site of the first CSeries test aircraft. Eventually we will erect a complex of buildings here that will total 860,000 square feet – that's the size of 15 football fields – to produce the CSeries family of aircraft."

The CIASTA will be constructed as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building, the first such building for Bombardier Aerospace in the world. LEED is a third-party certification program and an internationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.

The design and construction of the CIASTA is on track and is expected to be ready for test rig assembly next year. Wieland-Dafco Québec Inc. and Ghafari Associates LLC have been contracted to construct the building.

As part of Bombardier's mandate to contribute to a more sustainable future for aviation, the company's priority is to design and manufacture the most fuel-efficient aircraft with the lowest gas and noise emissions in their category. The mandate also extends to Bombardier's manufacturing processes and facilities. Making effective use of existing resources where possible, the CIASTA will be reconstructed from an existing fuel-flow building.

"We seek consistency and uniformity when it comes to being greener whether it's our aircraft or the facilities in which they are tested and built," said Mr. Hachey.

The CIASTA will house, among other things, the CSeries aircraft Integrated Systems Test and Certification Rig (ISTCR) or Iron Bird as it is usually called. This will be the first complete test vehicle enabling earlier product maturity. Flight control systems, avionics, electrical and environmental controls will be tested one year ahead of the actual flight test program. Other test articles will include an Interiors Rig, a Systems Integration Test Stand (SITS), an Engineering Simulator (ESIM) and Flight Controls Integration Lab (FCIL).

Bombardier achieved another milestone for the CSeries aircraft program recently when the first test article - a fuselage test barrel - arrived ahead of schedule at its Saint-Laurent, Québec site from China on August 19, 2009. The test barrel is now being prepared for fatigue testing including pressure cycle testing representative of the life of the aircraft. The test barrel will be used to demonstrate manufacturing and engineering structural concepts before the CSeries aircraft's final design phase begins in 2010.

Earlier this year, the CSeries aircraft program officially transitioned from the Joint Conceptual Definition Phase (JCDP) to the Joint Definition Phase (JDP). The latter phase will bring with it greater product definition and is expected to close with the preliminary design freeze.

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, widebody comfort and an unmatched environmental scorecard.

Press release issued by Bombardier Aerospace on September 15, 2009


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