Bombardier C Series Represents New Technology, Could Lead Category for Years

November 8, 2011 11:48am

Chet Fuller, Senior Vice President, Sales, Marketing & Asset Management for Bombardier Commercial Aircraft told the 140+ attendees at the November 7 Wichita Aero Club luncheon that there would be a test at the end of his presentation. He made it clear that there were three ponts he wanted each member of the audience to remember about the new Bombardier C Series 110-149 seat airliner, set to enter service in 2013: 12,000 lbs., modern materials, and digital technology. “If you remember those three things, you’ll know why the ‘C’ series will lead its category for at least the next decade,” Fuller said.

The 12,000 lbs. reference was an indication of how much lighter the composite and aluminum airplane is compared to current generation airliners with the same seating capacity. That translates into greater fuel efficiency, range and an ability to add new markets and destinations. Modern materials means that the aircraft incorporates the latest technology and weight-saving devices—items that can’t be “retrofitted” into updated versions of existing designs. It’s the digital technology portion of the equation points out the advantage the new, clean-sheet-of-paper aircraft has over current models and their derivatives, too. They also make it more environmentally friendly, too, with quieter engines and lower emissions.

The ‘C’ Series is also has sensors and monitoring systems built into every aspect of the aircraft, making its maintenance easier and more precise and its inspection intervals less frequent. That translates into dispatch reliability.

The ‘C’ Series is also optimized for the route structures and occupancy levels of airlines that are currently utilizing equipment that often take off with empty, non-revenue-producing seats—especially during the middle of the week. “There are Tuesdays and Wednesdays every week,” he noted, “when airlines fly a lot of flights with fewer passengers. With the ‘C’ Series, the airlines’ “seat risk” will be considerably lower. Bombardier currently has 133 firm orders for the airliners and 129 options from nine different customers.

The Wichita Aero Club’s next luncheon will be its annual ON-AIR Summit on Wednesday, December 7, 2011. It will begin at 11:45 AM to accommodate an expanded program featuring senior managers from each of Wichita’s business aircraft manufacturers as well as Airbus North America Engineering and Spirit Aerosystems. The panel discussion will be moderated by Fred George, Senior Editor for Aviation Week Group’s Business and Commercial Aviation magazine.