FAIRCHILD/SWEARINGEN SA-226-TC METROLINER, MONTREAL, QUEBEC, JUNE 18, 1998–Often layers of events come together to create catastrophes. Pilots may handle individual layers successfully, but combined those layers are often insurmountable. Nine passengers and two pilots died after the left wing of a Metroliner failed during an emergency landing at Mirabel/Montreal International Airport (CYMX).
Montréal-Mirabel International Airport
Bombardier’s board of directors issued authority to the company’s aerospace division to formally offer its proposed C Series airliner to potential customers. Bombardier Aerospace new commercial aircraft president Gary Scott told AIN that he now needs at least one, if not two, “high quality” customers for between 50 and 100 airplanes to gain launch approval from the board.
Sure, you can fly, but you can’t travel. That was the case with Bell Helicopter Textron’s new Model 429, still in the test-flight phase. The speedy light twin intended for display at Heli-Expo 2008 was in Canada and flight-ready, but it had less than the 25 flight hours needed before it could legally be flown across the border into the U.S.
While pledging to retain its North American headquarters in Grand Prairie, Texas, French engine maker Turbomeca has announced plans to open a new service, support and maintenance center in Mirabel, Canada, just a few scant miles from Bell Helicopter’s major civil manufacturing center in the same town. The new center will support the needs of the roughly 300 Turbomeca-made powerplants in service throughout Canada.
Belgian aerospace company Sonaca is investing C$17 million in the expansion of its Sonaca NMF Canada subsidiary in Mirabel, Quebec. Sonaca NMF Canada provides most of the wing skins Bombardier uses for its CRJ regional aircraft and its business jets (Global Express, Learjet and Challenger series except the Challenger 300).
Bombardier announced plans to cut this year’s CRJ200 production by another 20 percent just days after Standard & Poor’s lowered the company’s credit rating to junk status and issued a “negative” outlook for Bombardier’s regional jet prospects.
Bell Helicopter last month celebrated the 40th anniversary of its popular 206 model. More than 4,800 206Bs and 1,700 206Ls have been produced since the introduction of the 206A JetRanger on Jan. 13, 1967. “We are currently developing the latest upgrade kit for the 206L that will improve its performance, boost payload and reduce direct operating costs,” 206 program director Dorith Hakim said.
Pratt & Whitney Canada plans to build a brand-new engine for Bom-bardier’s C Series line of single-aisle airliners. The Canadian companies con-firmed the powerplant selection at the Paris Air Show, ending a month of speculation about which, if any, engine builder would step forward after the CFM International and International Aero Engines (IAE) consortia rejected Bombardier’s appeals for a non-derivative design.
The passenger facilities at Canada’s Montréal-Mirabel International Airport are candidates for a $C100 million ($87 million) transformation into an “indoor recreational multiplex” called Rêveport (AeroDream in English), according to Aéroports de Montréal.
Arik Air, Nigeria’s new airline, took a solid step forward last month when it accepted delivery of the first two Bombardier CRJ900 regional jets in Africa in ceremonies at the Canadian manufacturer’s assembly plant in Mirabel, Quebec. Arik Air took over the defunct Nigeria Airways center in Lagos in April and is rebuilding the facilities there as its base.
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