Wings Magazine

First phase of new Bombardier facility complete

Oct. 21, 2010, Belfast, Ireland - The first phase of construction of the 600,000 sq. ft. (55,742 m2) facility in Belfast that will house the manufacture and assembly of the advanced composite wings for the all-new CSeries commercial aircraft has been completed on schedule.

October 21, 2010  By Carey Fredericks

Bombardier’s Belfast operation is responsible for the design, manufacture and integration of the
advanced composite wings for the CSeries aircraft, including all flight control surfaces and highlift

The first phase of the new building incorporates a production area, a low contamination “clean
room” area and an area for tool storage. The main equipment, including a fabric cutter, multipleaxis
machine cell, pre-formers and autoclave, is currently being installed and commissioned in
preparation for production of the CSeries aircraft wings, which is due to begin in 2011.
The facility, which is part of a £520 million investment by Bombardier in its Northern Ireland
operation, is being built to meet high environmental standards. The building’s layout and design
are optimized for energy efficiency and minimal environmental impact. The facility will be a
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building, and a particular focus is
being given to waste segregation and recycling. LEED is a third-party certification program and
an internationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of highperformance
green buildings.

“A year ago, we celebrated the start of construction of this brand new facility, and I am delighted
that the first phase of this major investment – the largest ever in Northern Ireland – is now
complete,” said Michael Ryan, Vice President and General Manager, Bombardier Aerospace,
Belfast. “We are also progressing with the composite wing development and test program as
planned, and look forward to starting production of the CSeries aircraft wing early next year.”

As part of the wing research and development program, Bombardier’s Belfast operation has
developed an innovative Resin Transfer Infusion (RTI) technology to manufacture the large onepiece
wing skins and structural spars for the wing torque box. It has manufactured and
assembled a pre-production demonstrator wing, which has been successfully tested to ultimate
load, replicating 150 per cent of the most severe forces the wing is ever likely to experience in


Several local Northern Ireland companies have been engaged in the production of the
demonstrator wing, in addition to the local firms involved in the design, construction and
equipping of the new wing facility. Northern Ireland engineering and manufacturing companies
will also have an opportunity to bid for work packages on the wing production in the coming
months. Meanwhile, a delegation of small- and medium-sized engineering enterprises from
Northern Ireland took part in business-to-business meetings in Washington this week with some
of Bombardier’s US suppliers. The event was hosted by Invest Northern Ireland.

“Not only is the CSeries aircraft wing program enabling us to further develop and build on our
composites capabilities, it is also providing significant spin-offs and benefits to the wider
economy,” added Mr. Ryan.


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