Sept 16 Reuters) - Following are some facts about Bombardier Inc's CSeries passenger jet, a narrowbody rival to Airbus and Boeing aircraft, which was scheduled to carry out its much anticipated maiden flight on Monday.
Five years in development, the $3.4 billion aircraft will expand Montreal-based Bombardier's commercial plane business beyond the regional and corporate jet market, bringing it into direct competition with industry leaders Boeing Co and Airbus .
Bombardier first announced the CSeries in 2004, but after investing $100 million in development, it failed to sign up customers and shelved the program in 2006. It kept the concept alive with $20 million in annual funding and a skeleton crew.
The company restarted the program in 2008 after Germany's Deutsche Lufthansa AG signed a letter of interest for 30 firm and 30 optional plane orders.
The 110-seat CS100, with a list price of about $63 million, will compete with Embraer SA's E-190 and E-195, which can seat between 98 and 124. It will also compete with Airbus's 107- to 132-seat A318 and Boeing's 110-to 132-seat 737-600. The CS100 can seat up to 125.
The 130-seat CS300, listed at about $72 million, will go up against Airbus's 124-156 seat A319 and Boeing's 126-to 149-seat 737-700. Bombardier also plans a 160-seat version of the CS300.
Bombardier is assembling five CS100 and two CS300 test planes.
The CSeries final assembly is done in Mirabel, north of Montreal. The fuselage and cockpit are manufactured at another Montreal facility, while the wings are made in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
A patented "resin transfer infusion" process is used to make lighter-weight composite wings. The carbon-fiber composite structures require fewer inspections due to better corrosion resistance and fatigue strength, the company said.
Bombardier says the plane will have a 15 percent cash operating cost advantage, 20 percent fuel burn advantage and will be significantly quieter. Airbus says its upgraded A319neo will have similar fuel burn and cash costs to the CS300.
The CSeries will use two of Pratt & Whitney's new geared turbofan engines, the PurePower PW1500G and have a range of 2,950 nautical miles. It is 12,000 pounds (5,400 kg) lighter than other aircraft in the same seat category.
The jet is scheduled to enter service a year from first flight and the company has said it wants 300 firm orders by then. Bombardier said it had 388 orders and commitments, which includes 177 firm orders for the planes as of June 30, 2013.
Ten companies have placed firm orders for the two CSeries models, Bombardier said.
(Reporting by Susan Taylor; Additional reporting by Solarina Ho, Tim Hepher; Editing by Grant McCool, Phil Berlowitz and Jeffrey Benkoe)