Bombardier has decided to let Shenyang Aircraft (SAC) produce the mid-fuselage of the Bombardier Q400, and it plans to have the Chinese aircraft-maker produce the wing-to-fuselage wingbox for the Bombardier CSeries.

SAC already produces the Q400 forward and aft fuselages as well as the empennage. SAC director of Bombardier programmes Fu Peng says his company will deliver its first Q400 mid-fuselage at the end of November.

The company aims to deliver nine Q400 mid-fuselages in 2010, in addition to 48 shipsets of forward and aft fuselage as well as empennages, he adds.

Besides Q400 work, SAC also produces the aluminium-lithium fuselage for the CSeries. Bombardier's new commercial aircraft programme director Ben Boehm says the company has also decided that SAC will make the wing-to-fuselage wingbox for the CSeries.

Bombardier's Belfast unit and SAC are working on the design of the wingbox and this section will initially be made in Belfast, says Boehm.

Production will later shift to SAC and all the aircraft delivered to customers will have wing-to-fuselage wingboxes made in China, he says. It makes sense to let SAC produce this section because it is integral to the fuselage, he adds.

The Chinese firm has experience with composites because it "has done a lot of cowlings and fairings for ourselves and Boeing", says Boehm.

SAC in mid-July completed a 9m (30ft)-long aluminium-lithium fuselage for the CSeries. Bombardier engineers refer to this as the test barrel and it has since been shipped to Canada for testing.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news