Belfast Telegraph

Maiden flight of Bombardier plane leaves all at Belfast wing-making arm on a high

BY MARGARET CANNING

A milestone for one of Northern Ireland's top companies arrived yesterday with the maiden flight of Bombardier's new CSeries commercial aircraft at its headquarters in Mirabel, Canada.

Bombardier's Short Bros plant in Belfast – where it employs nearly 5,000 staff – has been producing the advanced composite wings for the aircraft with the support of companies in Northern Ireland.

Staff on Queen's Island were able to tune in for the historic moment through a webcast. The CSeries aircraft wings are the largest and most complex composite structures manufactured and assembled in the UK using a unique resin transfer infusion technology, developed and patented by Bombardier Belfast.

Bombardier invested £520m in its Belfast site so that the wings could be made – the biggest inward investment in Northern Ireland.

First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness welcomed the maiden flight.

Mr Robinson said: "Having Bombardier facilities within Northern Ireland has been of great benefit to the aerospace sector here.

"The world-class project has elevated Bombardier's technological capabilities to a new level and created opportunities for its supply chain in Northern Ireland and across the UK."

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