Bombardier and Comac prepare to start commonality studies

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Canadian airframer Bombardier and Chinese manufacturer Comac plan to start commonality studies of the CSeries and C919 during the next couple of months.

On 24 March the manufacturers announced a new cooperation agreement to examine partnership opportunities for their respective new single-aisle aircraft designs and potential collaboration in marketing and customer support and relationship strategies.

The new partners are in the process of creating project teams to explore potential commonality, Bombardier VP of international business Benjamin Boehm tells ATI, and the studies should begin in a few weeks time.

Boehm says one of the driving factors in creating the partnership is the development timeline of both the CSeries and C919 is still optimal to conduct those commonality studies.

It's too early to determine an obvious technology transfer between the two products, says Boehm, but Bombardier and Comac have already identified a handful of suppliers that are common on both aircraft. Liebherr is supplying the landing gear for each aircraft, while Honeywell is the APU supplier for the CSeries and C919. Rockwell Collins is supplying the CSeries avionics and communication, navigation and surveillance equipment for the C919.

By working together to offer future customers commonality benefits, Boehm believes the partnership "definitely won't hurt opportunities for sales in China or anywhere else in the world".