BOMBARDIER HAS opened a training centre in Montreal as part of a strategy to double its annual aerospace sales to C$6 billion ($4 billion) by 2000.

Canadian simulator manufacturer CAE Electronics provided two-thirds of the financing for the C$108 million Bombardier Aerospace Training Centre, to be equipped with three CAE-built simulators by February.

The centre, next to CAE's factory at Montreal's Dorval Airport, will house two simulators for the Canadair Regional Jet and one for the Canadair Challenger 604 business jet, with plans to add one for the Bombardier Global Express long-range business jet later. The centre will also house one Regional Jet flight-training device and three Challenger cockpit-procedures trainers, with additional devices planned. CAE is also supplying a computer-assisted training system.

Bombardier expects to train 2,350 pilots and maintenance technicians in 1996, reaching the planned capacity of 2,700 annually in 1998. The centre will also provide maintenance training for the Canadair CL-415 amphibian, as well as training for flight attendants and dispatchers.

"We've taken the best parts of all other training centres and put them under one roof," says Bombardier Regional Aircraft division director Dayton Webb. Bob Brown, president of Bombardier Aerospace Group - North America, says: "We need this cost-efficient training centre to develop the world market for our business and regional aircraft."

The premises will also house a research-and-development centre equipped by CAE for Bombardier to develop aircraft-design technologies and training tools. Bombardier engineers will use virtual-environment tools, including a helmet-mounted display with three-dimensional input devices, to study virtual cockpits, cabin interiors, aircraft structures and systems.

The Canadian and Quebec Governments helped finance the research centre with repayable industrial-development grants of C$9.4 million.

Source: Flight International