The clean room area in the new composite wing manufacturing and assembly facility at Bombardier Aerospace, Belfast.
The clean room area in the new composite wing manufacturing and assembly facility at Bombardier Aerospace, Belfast.
A range of equipment, including this fabric cutter, is currently being installed.
A range of equipment, including this fabric cutter, is currently being installed.

Bombardier’s Belfast operation is responsible for the design, manufacture and integration of the composite wings for the CSeries aircraft, including all flight control surfaces and high-lift systems.

The first phase of the new 600 000 ft2 (55 742 m2) building incorporates a production area, a low contamination 'clean room' area and an area for tool storage. The main equipment, including a fabric cutter, multiple-axis machine cell, pre-formers and autoclave, is currently being installed and commissioned.

Production of the CSeries aircraft wings is scheduled to begin in 2011.

The Belfast facility is part of a £520 million investment by Bombardier in its Northern Ireland operation.

“A year ago, we celebrated the start of construction of this brand new facility, and I am delighted that the first phase of this major investment – the largest ever in Northern Ireland – is now complete,” says Michael Ryan, Vice President and General Manager, Bombardier Aerospace, Belfast. “We are also progressing with the composite wing development and test programme as planned, and look forward to starting production of the CSeries aircraft wing early next year.”

Composite wing

As part of the wing research and development program, Bombardier’s Belfast operation has developed a resin transfer infusion (RTI) technology to manufacture the large one-piece wing skins and structural spars for the wing torque box. It has manufactured and assembled a pre-production demonstrator wing, which has been successfully tested to ultimate load, replicating 150% of the most severe forces the wing is ever likely to experience in service.

Several Northern Ireland companies have been engaged in the production of the demonstrator wing, in addition to the local firms involved in the design, construction and equipping of the new wing facility. Northern Ireland companies will also have an opportunity to bid for work packages on the wing production in the coming months.

  • The CSeries programme was launched at the Farnborough Airshow in 2008. Bombardier has firm orders for a total of 33 CS100 and 57 CS300 aircraft and options have been placed on a total of 90 additional aircraft. Designed for the 100- to 149-seat market, the CSeries is scheduled to enter service in 2013.