In the latest step toward production of its all-new CSeries aircraft—due to enter service in 2013—Bombardier recently began testing of the composite demonstrator wing at its Belfast, Northern Ireland, facility.
A specially designed full-scale, three-quarter span preproduction demonstrator wing has been constructed for the demonstrator test program using a unique Resin Transfer Infusion process. The rig represents the outer wing to center wing box and center fuselage attachments, including a simulated main landing gear leg and a simulated engine and pylon. Hydraulic jacks are used to induce bending and twisting into the wing structure, replicating every possible combination of severe loading that the wing may experience in service. The subsequent data collected will enable Bombardier’s engineers to validate their stress and design assumptions.
“Producing this demonstrator has been a significant investment for us but will bring significant benefits,” said Michael Ryan, Vice President and General Manager, Bombardier Aerospace, Belfast. “Through a rigorous testing program, we will get real test data from the demonstrator that will enable us to optimize the design of the actual CSeries aircraft production wing. This will allow us to create the lightest weight solution with the utmost confidence in the wing’s structural integrity.”
“Having carried out several thousand individual material and detail tests to date, we are delighted with the progress of the CSeries aircraft wing development program and are looking forward to gathering the data that will help us determine the wing’s final design,” Ryan said.
In February, Bombardier awarded contracts to Cytec Industries’ Engineered Materials division to supply carbon fiber composite materials for major primary structures of the CSeries and Learjet 85 aircraft programs.
CYCOM 890, a liquid resin infusion system with superior hot/wet properties, will be used for the manufacturing of structural elements of Bombardier’s CSeries aircraft wing. CYCOM 890’s performance characteristics widen the resin infusion processing window and reduce fabrication risk of large and complex structures. This material is manufactured at Cytec Engineered Materials’ Wrexham, U.K., facility.
The 60,000-ft² Belfast facility is responsible for the design, development, and manufacture of the advanced composite wings. Almost 400 engineering and support staff in Belfast are currently engaged in the research and development of the wings. Some 800 jobs will be generated during full production, as well as many more in the wider supply chain.
Since the announcement of the CSeries family of aircraft in July 2008, Bombardier has recorded firm orders for a total of 90 CSeries aircraft and booked options for an additional 90 aircraft. The aircraft family is being optimized for the longer range, single-aisle, 100- to 149-seat market.