Posted on Saturday 22 January 2011 by Ulster Business

Bombardier Aerospace

Bombardier Aerospace has announced that the development and production of advanced composite wing skin panels and spar components for its new Learjet 85 business jet will be undertaken by its facility in Belfast.

The decision represents a £27m investment in research and development, which is being backed by £5.1m from Invest NI. Production for the Learjet 85 components will take place in the new factory currently being constructed at Bombardier's Queen's Island site, where the wings for its CSeries aircraft will also be manufactured. Final assembly of the Learjet Wings will take place at Bombardier's plant in Mexico. "This new work package will enable us to expand our unique Resin Transfer Infusion advanced composite process for aircraft wings, as well as build on our abilities in the composites field," said Michael Ryan, Vice President and General Manager of Bombardier Aerospace, Belfast. "Given the success we have had to date with our CSeries aircraft demonstrator wing using the RTI technology, we are confident that this process can be further developed, adapted and applied to our Learjet 85 business jet." He added: "With increasing challenges, particularly from emerging and fast-growing markets, we hope this project will boost our position and ability to leverage involvement in future projects involving advanced composite structures." Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster welcomed the Canadian company's multi-million pound R&D project. "This is another significant investment for Bombardier's Northern Ireland operations and demonstrates the confidence placed in our local aerospace sector," she said. "Bombardier's presence is a major force in the local economy and this investment will help to underpin the future of the aerospace sector here."

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