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A NEW BOMBARDIER AVIATION IS FORMED AS IT EXITS COMMERCIAL AEROSPACE
Monday, August 19, 2019
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Bombardier Global 6500

Source: Bombardier


Bombardier Global 6500

Source: Bombardier


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NEWTOWN, Conn. -- Under a restructuring plan begun almost five years ago, Bombardier has radically narrowed its aerospace focus to business jets and aerostructure production. Three major divestitures have transformed the Canadian company into a much smaller aerospace manufacturer.

Airbus Canada Begins Operation

The most dramatic of these steps was the formation of a joint venture, majority led by Airbus, to take over the CSeries program. This effort, begun in late 2017, became official in July 2018 when Airbus assumed a 50.01 percent controlling stake in the program. The CSeries was quickly rebranded by Airbus as the A220. The two new models in Airbus' lineup, the A220-100 and A220-300, were formerly known as the CS100 and CS300, respectively.

The CSeries had been a risky venture for the company insofar as it straddles the high end of the regional jet market and the low end of the narrowbody market - hypercompetitive Airbus and Boeing territory. Debt burden over the delayed program had also been a drag on Bombardier in recent years - so much so that in 2016, Québec's provincial government finalized a $1 billion investment to bail out the CSeries program. In return, Investissement Québec became a minority partner in the CSeries program. As part of the deal, A220 operations will remain in Québec for at least 20 years. The investment introduced a new flow of cash to support the aircraft's entry into service and production ramp-up. Currently, under Airbus, Investissement Québec holds a 16 percent interest, with Bombardier holding the remaining 34 percent.

In June 2019, C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership (CSALP) was renamed Airbus Canada Limited Partnership to better reflect Airbus' majority stake. The limited partnership employs approximately 2,200 at its headquarters and manufacturing facilities in Mirabel. The second A220 manufacturing facility in Mobile, Alabama, will start production in the third quarter of 2019.

De Havilland Canada Reborn

This deal was followed by the sale of its Q400 turboprop operations in mid-2019. The program, as well as the storied De Havilland trademark, was acquired by Longview Aircraft Company of Canada Ltd, which is now known as De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd. Longview Aircraft is itself owned by Longview Aviation Capital, which owns Viking Air. Back in 2016, Viking Air bought out Bombardier's CL-215, CL-215T, and 415 amphibious aircraft programs. With these two acquisitions, all former De Havilland Canada aircraft are once again under the same roof.

MHI Buy May Signal End of CRJ Program

Next on the auction block was the CRJ regional jet program. Under a $550 million deal, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will acquire maintenance, support, upgrade, marketing and sales activities for the CRJ Series aircraft. The deal also includes service and support network activities located in Montreal and Toronto, as well as in Bridgeport, West Virginia, and Tucson, Arizona.

The deal gives MHI ownership of Bombardier's regional airliner support network, something that MHI will eventually need in order to support its own regional jet - the Mitsubishi SpaceJet - in North America. In the meantime, it can operate the facilities profitably by supporting the large CRJ fleet in operation. Most telling is that the deal does not include the CRJ production facility in Mirabel, Quebec. This facility will continue to assemble the CRJ family on behalf of MHI until the current backlog is exhausted, which Bombardier expects to happen in the second half of 2020. So far MHI has been mum on whether it would restart production of the CRJ family at a new site once production ends at Mirabel. Such a move is deemed unlikely due to the expense of creating a new facility at time when MHI needs to focus on the SpaceJet.

Enter Bombardier Aviation

With this triumvirate of deals, Bombardier has consolidated its remaining aerospace operations under a new division, Bombardier Aviation. As part of this streamlining, Bombardier will pursue the divestiture of its Belfast and Morocco aerostructures facilities, which produced components not only for Bombardier but for other aerospace OEMs as well. Airbus has expressed interest in acquiring Bombardier's A220 wing production plant in Belfast. Aerostructure specialists GKN and Spirit AeroSystems may also be interested in the operations.

As an OEM, what remains for Bombardier Aviation will be a singular focus on the business jet market via its Global, Challenger, and Learjet brands. Here the company has actually added capacity, acquiring the Global 7500 wing operations in Texas from Triumph. With the company now putting a greater emphasis on the business aircraft market, gaining control of this key aerostructure facility helps secure and speed management of the production ramp-up. The business jet market appears to be on the verge of recovery, current stock market volatility notwithstanding. A number of key indicators are trending upward, including economic growth, corporate profits, flight activity, and business and buyer confidence. These economic improvements have helped unlock latent demand that has built up in the market over the past several years. Most importantly, a number of manufacturers, including Bombardier, are transitioning their product lines from older aircraft to new models.

Bombardier's first entrant in this race, the Global 7500, entered service in December 2018 and is in the midst of a production ramp-up. Looking ahead, the company has introduced several new variants, such as the Global 5500 and 6500, with more powerful and fuel-efficient engines as well as other improvements. These models are aimed at standing out in this competitive market as they compete with new models from Dassault (Falcon 7X) and Gulfstream (G600) for sales.

Bombardier's management team has taken tough medicine in deconstructing its commercial aerospace operations. With its difficulties behind it, Bombardier Aviation should be a stable and healthy operation in the years ahead.

Source:  Forecast International Government & Industry Group
Associated URL: www.bombardier.com
Author: R. Pettibone, Gov't & Industry  

 
BELL 505 JET RANGER X HITS 500TH DELIVERY MARK
Thursday, August 15, 2019
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200 units shipped to date

Source: Bell Textron


200 units shipped to date

Source: Bell Textron


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FORT WORTH, Texas -- Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc., delivered the 200th Bell 505 Jet Ranger X August 15 to Austria-based operator Hubi-fly Helikopter GmbH. The aircraft will be used for corporate transport.

The first delivery of the Bell 505 occurred in March 2017 to Pylon Aviation. The global fleet of 200 aircraft are flying across six continents.

"What sets the Bell 505 apart from other short light single aircraft is its multi-mission capability," said LaShan Bonaparte, program director, Bell 505 and Bell 429. "Our intent from initial design for the Bell 505 was to deliver an industry-leading aircraft to the market. As operator needs expand, we continue to see growth of our 505 customer base."

The Bell 505 Jet Ranger X was developed with the support of a customer advisory panel focused on honoring the legacy of the renowned Bell 206 Jet Ranger while enhancing performance, technology and cost of operations. The aircraft has continued to garner global attention from operators in a variety of segments including electronic news gathering, law enforcement, helicopter emergency medical services, corporate transportation and utility missions.

With a speed of 125 knots (232 km/h) and useful load of 1,500 pounds (680 kg), the Bell 505 is Bell’s new five-seat aircraft designed for safety, efficiency and reliability using advanced avionics technology. It incorporates proven dynamic components, advanced aerodynamic design, a dual channel FADEC Turbomeca Arrius 2R engine and best-in-class value.

The Bell 505 is powered by a single Safran Helicopter Engines Arrius 2R rated 505 shp (377 kW) for takeoff and 459 shp (342 kW) for max continuous operation.

Source:  Bell Textron
Associated URL: Click here to visit

 
MAGNETIC MRO PRODUCES RECORD NUMBER OF INTERIOR DETAILS FOR FINNAIR’S ATR FLEET
Wednesday, August 14, 2019
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Source: Magnetic MRO


Source: Magnetic MRO


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TALLINN, Estonia -- Magnetic MRO and Finnair have signed a contract for complete paint work, full interior refurbishment and maintenance of all 12 of the airline’s ATR 72’s operated for Finnair by its partner company Norra.

All 12 of the aircraft will receive full interior refurbishment, which includes the painting of overhead bins, attendant seats, galleys, bin doors, stairs and linings, to achieve a fresh look for the aircraft interior; complete refurbishment of the lavatories, and installing new seats and carpets.

For Magnetic MRO’s Interior team, this project involved producing the largest number of new in-house made details for an aircraft that the company has ever manufactured for a single interior project. This included new kickstrips, stickers, latches and hinges for overhead bins, and other design elements.

"Finnair has exceeded all of our hopes as a customer as they have been very focused on the end result being as close to perfection as possible," said Magnetic MRO’s Interior Project Manager Pärtel-Peeter Kruuv. "Their attention to detail and strict standards for the interior design of their aircraft has lifted our team into new heights and made us work even harder. This project has been an amazing learning experience and we’re happy to work with an airline so committed to the comfort of their passengers. We hope this is just a kick-off for further design and production projects with our neighbouring flag-carrier."

In addition to interior refurbishment, Magnetic MRO will be Finnair’s partner for doing maintenance checks and painting their entire ATR fleet. The project is expected to be completed by the end of Q1, 2020.

Source:  Magnetic MRO
Associated URL: Click here to visit

 

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