3. Lear85 was stupidity on multiple levels, lets try and make a sandwich composite structure at ~2000m above sea-level on the cheap for a market saturated with low cost alternatives. Sure what could go wrong? This sucked design talent and money out of the CSeries program right at the start when laying the foundations.
I disagree. However my disagreement rests on assumptions:
In 1991 the German company Grob first flew the experimental plane GF200. It was built mainly of carbon fiber and had a propeller behind the fuselage.
In 1993 the Bavarian chief minister Streibl had to step down after it became known that Grob financed two holiday trips of Streibl. That Grob had received government money for his research was now seen in a negative light.
2005 was the first flight of the worldwide first business jet (Grob G180 SPn) with fuselage and wing of carbon fiber. In November 2006 during test flights the tail started to flutter and broke. The test pilot was killed. In 2008 the company was bankrupt and all workers lost their job. However some months later a new owner restarted production as well as maintainance.
In the summer of 2005 Bombardier and Grob agreed on a cooperation to develop a carbon fiber wing and fuselage for a new business jet. Official start of the project was in October 2007. Grob was to execute the program till first flight. As Grob went bankrupt in August 2008 Bombardier cancelled the contract in September 2008 and shifted the structures to America.
In April 2014 Learjet 85 had it's first flight. The plane was for 8 passengers, 21m long with 19m wingspan, 11t empty weight and 15t Maximum Take Off Weight (MTOW).
In Oktober 2015 Bombardier cancelled the program. Accumulated cost was 2,6 billion Dollar. https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ss-418367/
The first flight of the C-Series was in September 2013, so more than half year before the Learjet 85. Even though I wonder if any process planned for the C series was first tried on the Learjet 85:
Which machines are good, which make problems? What are the working steps with carbon fiber? Which suppliers are good for this new material/ process? Where do cracks tend to develop? What type of screws to use?
Airbus's first real carbon fibre wing was the military A400M. The A400M has a metal fuselage.
manufacturers empty weight (not OEW):
Bombarier Learjet 85: 11t
Airbus A400m : 79t
Boeing B787-8 : 118t
Airbus A350-900 : ? (Wikipedia source from 2008, Airbus website doesn't show)
I believe if Boeing had experimented with a 11 t plane first they may not have had overweight problems for their B787. I don't think people on the stock exchange are much involved in product development. The Learjet 85 cancellation was considered terrible news. I simply saw it as part of the C-Series development cost.
Bombardier also learnt the advantages/ disadvantages of carbon fuselage. They decided on a conventional fuselage, but not because they didn't know the technology. At any rate Embraer's new winged E2 jets don't have carbon fiber wings.
The C series had terrible delays. But that was because of software bugs in "fly-by-wire" and an engine failure during ground testing. There was nothing wrong with their carbon fiber construction. Not bad for such a (compared to Boeing/ Airbus) small manufacturer.
I assume all this. That means I might be totally wrong. Anybody has some “hard” info or contradicting evidence?
Did you know the name Grob?
Financial analysts probably consider Grob a looser. More often than not the first movers don’t make the profits. In wind turbine development big companies waited for small players to spend their equity. Sure like an amen in the church the industry sooner or later gets into a recession. That’s the time big player get the work done for pretty much nothing.
There are businessmen who have a vision. Obviously they will extract enough money from their companies that they have enough private wealth for their and their children’s remaining life. But beyond that they accept their wealth may get lost. Wealth is just a means to work on a vision.
That Elon Musk is succeeding in both his ideas is close to a miracle. I would have expected that he will go bankrupt in both his ventures. That wouldn’t diminish my respect for him. Somebody else would take up his work and continue.
So what is the task of a capitalist?