(Reuters) - The following are some facts about Bombardier Inc’s (BBDb.TO) all new CSeries, a narrow-body jetliner that the Canadian planemaker will have its maiden flight by the end of June. The company expects it to enter service by middle of 2014.<ID:L2N0EO0H7>
Five years in development, the $3.4 billion aircraft will expand Montreal-based Bombardier’s commercial plane business beyond the regional and corporate jet market, bringing it into direct competition with industry leaders Boeing Co (BA.N) and Airbus EAD.PA.
Bombardier first announced the CSeries in 2004, but after investing $100 million in development, it failed to sign up customers and shelved the program in 2006. It kept the concept alive with $20 million in annual funding and a skeleton crew.
The company restarted the program in 2008 after Germany’s Deutsche Lufthansa AG (LHAG.DE) signed a letter of interest for 30 firm and 30 optional plane orders.
The 110-seat CS100, with a list price of about $63 million, will compete with Embraer SA’s (EMBR3.SA) E-190 and E-195, which can seat between 98 and 124. It will also compete with Airbus’s EAD.PA 107- to 132-seat A318 and Boeing’s 110-to 132-seat 737-600. The CS100 can seat up to 125.
The 130-seat CS300, listed at about $72 million, will go up against Airbus’s 124-156 seat A319 and Boeing’s 126-to 149-seat 737-700. Bombardier also plans a 160-seat version of the CS300.
Bombardier is assembling five CS100 and two CS300 test planes.
The CSeries final assembly is done in Mirabel, north of Montreal. The fuselage and cockpit are manufactured at another Montreal facility, while the wings are made in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
A patented “resin transfer infusion” process is used to make lighter-weight composite wings. The carbon-fiber composite structures require fewer inspections due to better corrosion resistance and fatigue strength, the company said.
Bombardier said the plane will have a 15 percent cash operating cost advantage, 20 percent fuel burn advantage and will be significantly quieter.
The CSeries will use two of Pratt & Whitney’s (UTX.N) new geared turbofan engines, the PurePower PW1500G and have a range of 2,950 nautical miles. It is 12,000 pounds (5,400 kg) lighter than other aircraft in the same seat category.
The jet is scheduled to enter service in mid-2014 and the company has said it wants 300 firm orders by then. Bombardier said it had 177 firm orders for the planes as of June 4, 2013.
Nine companies have placed firm orders for the two CSeries models, Bombardier said, with additional orders from clients it has not named:
Reporting by Susan Taylor; Additional reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Grant McCool, Phil Berlowitz and Jeffrey Benkoe