Bombardier Finds Lesson in Tardy CSeries for a Late Luxury Jet

  • Equipment for airliner seen speeding work on business plane
  • Global 7000 order book `still very strong,' executive says

Bombardier Inc.’s growing pains in developing the CSeries jetliner may allow the company’s biggest-ever luxury aircraft to meet a revised deadline for entry into service.

The Global 7000 jet, now pushed back two years to 2018, should benefit from the use of so-called fly-by-wire technology similar to that on the CSeries, according to Michel Ouellette, chief operating officer of Bombardier’s business-aircraft unit. The $72.8 million Global 7000 will be followed by the longer-range Global 8000.

Bombardier showed off two Global 7000 test planes Tuesday in Toronto as the struggling planemaker bets on new-but-tardy models for a turnaround. The Montreal-based company secured a $1 billion investment last week from Quebec’s government for the flagship CSeries, whose postponements and cost overruns have drained cash.

“We are leveraging technology that was ready, that was put on the CSeries,” Ouellette said Tuesday. “That technology on the 7000 and 8000 is one more element giving us confidence of entering into service in the second half of 2018.”

Fly-by-wire systems translate the movements of the cockpit flight controls into electrical signals that steer the aircraft, instead of relying on hydraulic or mechanical equipment. Dassault Aviation’s Falcon 7X, which was introduced in 2007, was the first business aircraft with fly-by-wire controls.

The Global 7000 is a so-called large-cabin jet, whose 7,400 nautical-mile (13,700 kilometer) range with eight passengers is enough to fly nonstop between New York and Dubai. Bombardier announced that plane’s postponement in July, citing unspecified development “challenges,” after running more than two years late with the CSeries.

Demand for the Global 7000 hasn’t been affected by the delay, according to Bombardier Business Aircraft President David Coleal, who declined to provide specific order figures.

“The order book we have even with the two-year delay is still very strong,” Coleal said. “We feel very strongly about the 7000/8000 market space. It’s going to continue to grow.”

While Bombardier won’t disclose how much money it’s committed to the 7000 and 8000 program, Walter Spracklin, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, estimated last week that the jets could require more than $2 billion of spending.

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