(All figures in U.S. dollars unless noted)
March 7 (Reuters) - The following are some facts about Bombardier Inc’s all new CSeries, a narrow-body, twin-engine jetliner that the Canadian company unveiled on Thursday in a $3.4 billion bet on growth for its aerospace division. [ID: nL1N0BZ4X6]
Five years in development, the 110 to 160-seat aircraft will expand Montreal-based Bombardier’s commercial plane business beyond the regional and corporate jet market, bringing it into direct competition with industry leaders Boeing Co and Airbus.
Bombardier first announced the CSeries in 2004, but after investing $100 million in development, it failed to sign up customers and shelved the program in 2006. It kept the concept alive with $20 million in annual funding and a skeleton crew, cut to 50 from 350 workers.
The company restarted the program in 2008 after Germany’s Deutsche Lufthansa AG signed a letter of interest for 30 firm and 30 optional plane orders.
The 110-seat CS100, with a list price of about $62 million, will compete with Embraer SA’s E-190 and E-195, along with Airbus’s A318 and Boeing’s 737-600.
The 130-seat CS300, listed at about $71 million, will go up against Airbus’s A319 and Boeing’s 737-700. Bombardier also plans a 160-seat version of the plane.
It is assembling five CS100 and two CS300 test planes.
C-Series final assembly is done in Mirabel, north of Montreal. The fuselage and cockpit are manufactured at another Montreal facility, while the wings are made in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
The Belfast unit is patenting a “resin transfer infusion” process, used in manufacturing lighter-weight composite wings. The carbon-fiber composite structures require fewer inspections due to better corrosion resistance and fatigue strength, the company says.
Bombardier says the plane will have a 15 percent cash operating cost advantage and 20 percent fuel burn advantage.
The C-Series, which will use Pratt & Whitney’s new Geared Turbofan Engine (GTF), will have a range of 2,950 nautical miles. It is 12,000 pounds (5,400 kg) lighter than other aircraft in the same seat category.
The jet is scheduled to enter service in mid-2014 and the company has said it wants 300 firm orders by then. Bombardier says it had 148 firm orders for the planes as of Dec. 31, 2012. (Reporting By Susan Taylor; Editing by Grant McCool)