Graham Warwick/WASHINGTON DC


Bombardier has subcontracted some Global Express interior completions in a bid to overcome delays in delivering the ultra-long-range business jets. Cambridge, UK-based Marshall Aerospace and The Jet Center of Van Nuys, California, will each complete four aircraft next year.

Bombardier's own completion facilities are at full capacity, with 23 Global Expresses being worked on in its Montreal, Canada, centre and "five or six" at its Tucson, Arizona, site, which also completes Challenger 604s and Learjet 45s. The addition of Marshall and The Jet Center will boost total Global Express completions capacity to 46 aircraft next year. Both have the potential to accept more aircraft, if required, the manufacturer says.

Completions are lagging behind deliveries because it is taking longer than expected to outfit the Global Express. Bombardier delivered 10 "green" aircraft to its completion centres in the financial year ended 31 January, 1999, but only five have entered service so far. The company says it will deliver 30 green aircraft this financial year and "slightly more" next year.

Global Express completions take 40 weeks, compared with 20-22 weeks for the smaller Challenger. Bombardier says it plans to reduce this to a "much more reasonable" 28-30 weeks next year. The company will retain overall responsibility for all completions, stationing employees at Marshall and The Jet Center to ensure quality. Marshall, already a Global Express service centre, will be assisted by TRACE Aircraft Completion, based at London's Biggin Hill Airport.

To help overcome similar delays early in production of its Gulfstream V ultra-long-range business jet, Gulfstream has acquired independent completion centre K-C Aviation of Dallas, Texas. The company has also boosted the capacity of its completion centres in Savannah, Georgia, and Long Beach, California. Gulfstream's Brunswick, Georgia, completion centre, meanwhile, was dedicated to outfitting GIV-SPs destined for Executive Jet's NetJets fractional ownership programme and to refurbishing used aircraft.

Source: Flight International