Bombardier begins to build Learjet 85 test aircraft


Learjet 85 teams in Canada, Mexico, Northern Ireland and US begin building test aircraft

Bombardier Aerospace today announced that production
of its new Learjet 85 aircraft
has officially begun as the programme successfully exited the aircraft level critical design review. Development and production teams in Wichita,
Kansas; Montréal, Québec; Belfast,
Northern Ireland; and Querétaro, Mexico,
are actively engaged in the manufacturing validation phase.

“We have made solid progress,” said Ralph Acs, vice
president and general manager, Learjet,
Bombardier Business Aircraft. “Our manufacturing sites are ready, production
has begun, we have been successfully building parts and we are ensuring that
all quality standards are met for the Learjet
85 aircraft’s entry into service in 2013.”

The Querétaro site is operational with production
tooling in place. To date, several test fuselages and key elements of the
composite structure have been produced at the facility to validate the
manufacturing and assembly processes. In addition, a full-length composite fuselage
has been assembled, and production of the first flight test vehicle is

In Wichita,
the first phase of expansion is complete and the site is ready for the start of
final assembly. Phase two of the expansion plan, which includes building a new
production flight facility, is scheduled to begin in 2012, while phase three –
the paint facility and new delivery centre – is on track to be completed in 2013.

Production of wing spars and planks using resin transfer infusion (RTI) technology was successfully launched at the Belfast site in spring
2011. Several sets of spars are now complete, and shipments to the Querétaro
site, where wing assembly will take place, have begun.

The Learjet
85 aircraft programme supply base has started the fabrication of
parts, and is on track with approximately 40 per cent of dedicated supplier
test rigs that are operational, running their respective systems prior to
shipment to the final line. As part of Bombardier’s technology readiness
program, over 12,000 test pieces have been produced to date. The first FAA
structural certification test project was successfully completed this summer.

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