For Final Assembly Of Flight Test CSeries Aircraft
By Jim Douglas
April 8, 2011 - Bombardier has started work at its
aircraft production facility in Mirabel, Québec, to
accommodate final assembly of the first flight test
CSeries aircraft. This is another step in the
five-phased development of the Mirabel plant, which will
ultimately double in size to some 860,000 square feet
(79,897 square meters).
Space optimization and re-tooling at the Mirabel facility, which began last month, will accommodate final assembly of the first CSeries aircraft required for the flight test and certification program.
The Complete Integrated Aircraft Systems Test Area (CIASTA), the first area at the Mirabel plant developed for the CSeries aircraft program, is progressing on schedule, with the installation of systems rigs currently underway.
addition, new buildings for the CSeries aircraft program will
include a supplier satellite area; final assembly structural
joining and pulse line areas; an area for pre-flight testing;
paint shops; and a delivery and administrative centre.
Production, quality and ergonomic requirements are driving
Bombardier's technical approach to the final assembly of the
CSeries aircraft. While they will be shorter than the 128-foot
(39-metre)-long CRJ1000 NextGen regional jet, the largest
aircraft currently produced at the Mirabel plant, the CSeries
aircraft will have a fuselage with a larger diameter, their
wings will be longer and their tails taller than those on the
CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft.
will therefore employ different final assembly techniques to
those used for its regional jets. As an example, two pairs of
robots will be used to drill holes, apply sealant and install
fasteners to join the major sections of the CSeries aircraft's
"Advanced robot technology will provide predictable repeatability, enhance quality and prevent ergonomic issues on the assembly line," said Francois Minville, Vice President, CSeries Manufacturing, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. "The fuselage of the CSeries aircraft is 12 feet (3.7 meters) in diameter, which presents an assembly challenge using our conventional methods. The benefit of the robots is they can work on the top, the side and underneath the aircraft without any limitations."
production line is being introduced at Bombardier's St-Laurent
Manufacturing Centre, where major components of the CSeries aircraft,
such as the cockpit and aft fuselage, are being produced, and a moving
final assembly line is planned for Mirabel. Compared to many other
industries, aircraft manufacturing has traditionally been characterized
as a low volume, long cycle time industry. The introduction of a moving
final assembly line creates a dynamic environment that improves
To reduce the
cycle time required to assemble a larger and more complex airliner,
Bombardier is introducing advanced processes to ensure that high quality
parts are received at the plant on time. "We are enhancing our quality
culture at Bombardier to support the production of the CSeries
aircraft," said Mr. Minville. "Through the sharing of knowledge and best
practices, we are building on our experience with aircraft programs that
involve risk-sharing suppliers and are refining our processes."
Beginning with the
development of the ultra long-range Global Express business jet in the
mid-1990s, Bombardier has obtained considerable experience working with
international partners and a global supply chain in building large
structural aircraft components, such as wings and fuselages.
To augment this
experience, new advanced quality planning (AQP) and advanced logistics
planning (ALP) processes are being introduced to identify potential
areas of risk in manufacturing, systems integration and supply chain
logistics on the CSeries aircraft program. The introduction of AQP and
ALP highlights Bombardier's embrace of preventive quality tools such as
Process Control Plans, Mitigation Approach Plans, and Failure Mode
Effects Analysis (FMEAs) commonly employed in the technology,
health-care and automotive industries.
started rolling out the advanced quality logistics planning methodology
to suppliers on the CSeries aircraft program in 2010, and the system has
now been deployed to 26 tier one suppliers at 46 manufacturing sites.
|©AvStop Online Magazine Contact Us Return To News|