Bombardier makes tweaks to CSeries specs

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An update on the performance specifications and dimensions of the Pratt & Whitney PW1000G-powered CSeries family will be issued by Bombardier, reveals commercial aircraft president Gary Scott.

The Canadian airframer has "tweaked the weight just a little bit and made some other small adjustments in the configuration of the airplane, but nothing major", says Scott.

An update will be provided, he says, stressing: "There is no real fundamental change."

In announcing a firm order from Lufthansa for 30 CSeries aircraft today, Bombardier made known that it has redesignated the models in the twin-jet family.

The 110-seat CSeries, which is the lead variant due to enter service in 2013, is designated the CS100. This model had previously been known as the C110.

The 130-seat aircraft, formerly called the C130, is now designated the CS300.

Bombardier continues to offer different versions of each, the standard CS100 and the extended range CS100ER, as well as the standard CS300, the CS300ER and the CS300XT.

The latter of these, the CS300XT, is a short-range variant of the standard CS300that will use the higher-thrust version of Pratt & Whitney's GTF to offer improved take-off performance.

"So in Europe, they may want to fly the standard or do the XT in difficult airports," says Scott.

In terms of production, the airliner's composite wings as planned will be built at Bombardier's Belfast plant. Shenyang Aircraft, a unit of China Aviation Industry (which includes AVIC I) will provide the centre fuselage as well as the tailcone structure and doors of the CSeries. "They remain a big part, committed to all the programme milestones," says Scott.

Follow-on supplier announcements are expected to be released shortly. And major programme milestones will start occurring around the middle of the year. "We'll be breaking ground in Mirabel, north of Montreal, on our new fully integrated test facility, which will be the first facility as part of the new final assembly [plant]," says Scott.

The $2.6 billion needed to develop the CSeries will come in roughly equal shares from Bombardier, principal suppliers and the Canadian and UK governments.

"On the Canadian side, we're at just the final stage of completing that government repayable investment contract and so funding will follow," says Scott. "In the case of the UK, we're going through the normal European Union approval process so that funding will come later this year."