This week at the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget, Belgian-based aerospace company Sonaca signed a major contract with Bombardier, worth $1 to 2 billion, covering the design, manufacturing and supply of fixed and mobile leading edges, including de-icing systems (its specialty), for the wings of the North American company’s new CSeries aircraft.
Sonaca will be in good company. Bombardier’s Northern Irish subsidiary, Shorts, will design and build the aircraft wings, and long-standing partner Asco, based in Zaventem, and Czech firm Aero Vodochody will take care of part of the component design. The contract with Bombardier means that Sonaca has added a third world-class aircraft builder to its clientele, alongside Airbus and Embraer, which, up until now, have accounted for 90% of its sales figure. The contract is aligned with Sonaca’s desire to diversify its customer base.
Bombardier’s new CSeries aircraft promise to be highly innovative. Built partly of ultra-light composite materials such as aluminum alloys, the medium-range planes will be equipped with next-generation engines that will make them an excellent environmental choice. The aircraft will be available in 100- to 150-seat versions.
The new medium-range aircraft (4,000 to 5,500 km) should come into commercial service in 2013, with the maiden flight slated for 2011.