LONDONDERRY aerospace manufacturer Maydown Precision Engineering (MPE) had call for celebration on Monday (September 16) as Bombardier’s long-awaited new commercial jet, the CSeries, completed its maiden flight north of Montreal.
The Maydown firm supplies components to the Cseries programme in Belfast where the wings for the aircraft are designed and manufactured.
A spokesperson for the firm said it was pleased to have been involved in the creation of “the most environmentally responsible single-aisle aircraft in its class.”
In a statment to the paper, the company explained: “The CSeries aircraft has significant European content. The complete advanced composite wings have been designed and are being manufactured and assembled in Belfast.
“These wings are the largest and most complex composite structures manufactured and assembled in the UK using a unique Resin Transfer Infusion (RTI) technology, developed and patented by Bombardier Belfast.”
The CSeries contract will result in 800 people employed in Belfast on the wing programme at full production whilst 2,000 more people will be employed in the wider supply chain, including in Londonderry.
Earlier this year the Sentinel reported how the chairman of the board of MPE helped secure the CSeries work - the largest ever inward investment programme in Northern Ireland.
Michael J. Ryan, General Manager of Bombardier Aerospace, Belfast, accompanied Pierre Beadoin, President of its Québécois parent firm, to a meeting with the then Investment Minister Nigel Dodds in 2008 to help seal a deal that resulted in wings and nacelles for the company’s CSeries jets being made in Northern Ireland.
According to a briefing document prepared by Invest NI’s Transport, Construction and Tourism division Bombardier is aiming to sell a minimum of 1,770 aircraft, which represents approximately 30 per share of a market estimated at 5,900 units over the life of the programme, which will last for 20 years.
MPE, which according to an organisation chart from 2008 was 35 per cent owned by Bombardier, is well placed to benefit.
In Montreal Mr Beadoin said on Monday (September 16): “It’s a very emotional day for all of us at Bombardier.
“It takes a long time to develop an airplane; some have been working on this for 10 years.”