Canadian manufacturer Bombardier delivered the first Challenger 300 from its Montreal center in January. Before a restructuring last year, the company had expected to do Challenger 300 interiors at its Tucson, Ariz. facility, but shifted the responsibility to its new integrated manufacturing center in Montreal. The center combines final assembly activities with interior completion and paint for all of its Challenger business jet line.
Bombardier Global Express
The one unmistakable message that came out of this year’s Asian Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (ABACE) is that business aviation in Asia is no longer merely a talking point. While the region still faces challenges, there is progress on every front and aircraft are moving passengers throughout the region in unprecedented numbers.
Transport Canada has certified the SureSight I-series infrared (IR) enhanced-vision system (EVS) sensor developed by CMC Electronics, marking one of the last steps before certification and production approval of the complete EVS for the Bombardier Global Express XRS.
Canadian authorities have approved the installation of a Max-Viz EVS-1000 enhanced vision system (EVS) aboard a Global Express. The U.S.-registered jet received the upgrade at ABC Completions in Montreal and gained Canadian approval in late December. An STC from the FAA covering the installation was expected by the end of last month.
Dassault last month spectacularly bridged the gap between virtual reality and reality when it unveiled the first assembled Falcon 7X business jet at its Bordeaux Mérignac factory in southwest France. The February 15 event highlighted the fully digital design and manufacturing processes (see page 50) of the 5,700-nm-range trijet.
The second and final test Bombardier Global 5000 took its first, four-hour flight northwest of Toronto on January 8. During the inaugural flight it reached an altitude of 17,000 feet and an indicated airspeed of 340 knots.
Bombardier successfully completed wing mating on the first Global Express XRS at the company’s de Havilland facility in Toronto on November 9. Technicians from Bombardier and wing manufacturer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries reported no issues in joining the 94-foot-span wing to the fuselage of the first production airplane, S/N 9159. The wing is essentially the same as that on the Global Express, from which the XRS is derived.
Certification of the infrared enhanced vision system (EVS) for the Bombardier Global Express XRS–said to be “imminent” at press time–will close an important technology gap between Gulfstream and Bombardier, head-to-head competitors in the ultra-long-range business jet market.
Bombardier has closed its green completion center in Tucson, but it is still doing business aircraft interior refurbishment at its adjacent Tucson Service Center. In December, Bombardier and the Tucson Airport Authority reached a new lease agreement that allows start-up completion center DunnAir to gradually take possession of Bombardier’s former completion facility (see page 76).
Bombardier began shakedown flights January 16 of the first Global Express XRS, a longer-range successor to the Global Express. The first flight lasted slightly more than four hours.
Deliveries of the 6,150-nm-range twin-engine business jet (already approved under the same type certificate as its predecessor) are expected to begin in the first quarter of next year.