Bombardier has released the first engineering drawings for production of the first CS100 flight test aircraft.

The final design for the lower left-hand skin of the cockpit was released on 10 June, says Hugues Lessard, vice president of Bombardier's Saint-Laurent plant in Montreal.

With the first drawing now released, Lessard says the first stretch form block tool that will accommodate the first skin panel is currently being cured.

While the company says it expects to achieve design freeze on its 110-seat CS100 airliner next month, the design is largely considered to be frozen, save for some aircraft systems.

"In most cases, we consider the detailed design phase today, and we have started to release manufacturing drawings," says Lessard.

Cockpit fabrication for the first aircraft is expected to begin by year-end, says Lessard.

The company's Saint-Laurent facility will be responsible for full fabrication of the CSeries forward and aft fuselage.

Part of the Saint-Laurent site is being converted from a metal storage and cutting area to revamped space for use by the CSeries programme and aims to leverage lean manufacturing technologies by eliminating overhead cranes and operating with a continuous moving line guided by automated guided vehicles (AGV).

As the new facility is being prepared, Bombardier is in the process of assembling a composite paneled, aluminum framed aft fuselage demonstrator.

Sylvain Lajoie, CSeries programme director for the Saint-Laurent facility, says that the mixed material design avoids galvanic corrosion between carbon fibre and aluminum by inserting a thin film where the two materials meet.

The test structure, once complete, will be put through thermal stress tests to evaluate the differing coefficients of expansion of the carbon fibre panels and the metal structure. 

The Pratt & Whitney PW1000G-powered CS100 is expected to make its first flight in 2012 and enter service in 2013.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news