Bombardier CSeries to take flight on Belfast made wings
The new Bombardier CSeries aircraft is soon to take to the skies as the first of its Belfast-made wings are attached to the new test airframe in Canada.
Bombardier is investing over £520m on the CSeries programme in a project which is creating over 800 jobs at a purpose built factory at the French-Canadian company's Northern Ireland base - the largest ever inward investment project undertaken here.
Lufthansa subsidiary Swiss International Air Line will be the launch customer for the Bombardier C-Series aircraft and other customers include Braathens, Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Korean Air and Republic Airways, with the 100-seat CSeries aircraft scheduled to enter into service in late 2013.
In July Latvian carrier airBaltic signed a letter of intent to acquire 10 CS300 aircraft and take purchase rights on a further 10 CS300 jetliners in a deal which could top $1.57bn (£1.12bn).
A Bombardier spokeswoman said that the wings have been produced using a new Resin Transfer Infusion (RTI) composite process developed and tested in Belfast, which the company believes represents a step change in aircraft wing technology.
The CSeries aircraft wings are the largest and most complex composite structures manufactured and assembled in the UK using this RTI technology.
"We are delighted to have delivered the wings for the new CSeries aircraft to Canada, where they are now being joined to the test airframe," she said.
"This is a tremendous achievement for us in Belfast, and is the result of innovative research and development, advanced engineering design, and pioneering manufacturing and assembly processes."
Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster welcomed the news, calling it "a significant milestone".
"This project brings major benefits in terms of taking the company's technological capabilities to a new level as well as bringing opportunities to the company's supply chain in Northern Ireland and across the UK," she said.
Amount invested in project to create 800 jobs in Northern Ireland