Bombardier just announced a six month delay in the first flight of its CSeries. Originally first flight was planned for December or early January. But a delay has been anticipated; take a listen to our interview with program boss Rob Dewar.
Bombardier expects a CS100 EIS delay to mid-year 2014, but expects the CS300 EIS to stay on track by the end of 2014. This may be due to saved time from the CS100 program being passing through to the CS300 program.
Bombardier, unsurprisingly, has met challenges in its supply chain. Given the experience at Airbus and Boeing this should come as no surprise. After all, OEMs typically end up having the same firms in their supply chain. But Bombardier does have some that are “atypical”.
- China-based Shenyang, the fuselage source is the obvious one. This firm, although a long time Bombardier supplier, appears to be struggling with a larger scope of work and more demanding project. We understand that Bombardier has been assembling fuselage sections internally, just in case. But this, as one can imagine, a well-guarded secret.
- The next area of concern (confirmed in our interview) is Parker Hannifin fly-by-wire system. Bombardier had trouble with this firm’s FBW system on the CRJ1000, too. Bombardier stuck with them on the CS.
Bombardier has its earnings call 10am EST today. The call is expected to be an opportunity for Bombardier to get the news out and then behind them. The trade press may not let that happen quickly. There are probably going to be some pointed questions.