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9Patch
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The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:53 am

Aviation Week has an opinion piece on Bombardier’s mistakes in commercial aircraft that led to the company exiting the business:

Opinion: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

In hindsight, Bombardier’s management made several strategic mistakes along the way that could have been avoided, had it been more lucid about their market and the industry dynamics at play.

The first mistake was not realizing that the segment they were targeting with the C Series was not just an extension of the markets they knew.

The second mistake was believing Bombardier’s experience in developing smaller aircraft (28 in 20 years!) would give it a head start and take it up the learning curve quickly for the C Series as well.

The third mistake was underestimating the challenge of getting its supply chain to deliver on specifications, time and cost.

All in all, Bombardier management failed at the most basic step of corporate decision-making: analyzing industry dynamics and using that analysis to inform strategic decisions.
https://aviationweek.com/commercial-avi ... t-failures


Bad for Bombardier, good for Airbus.
 
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Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:14 am

Given the mess the rail division is in, perhaps the first mistake is that they are Bombardier.
 
VV
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Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:26 am

Mismanagement in general?
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:34 am

A bit sassy, but the one business the scored in - they sold. Ski Doos.

Personally, I think BBD could have pulled off the C-series if their rail operations hadn't been such a drain I recall there were 5 major projects that teetered on default. Hard to get the next customer that way when you can't bond the jobs. Via Rail selected the competition because of their years long delays.
 
Max Q
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Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:30 am

Although it’s rare in aviation for a business failure by one manufacturer to be turned into a success by another


Airbus is the happy beneficiary of superb engineering on BD’s part of which this program was only able to survive by the Canadian government bail out
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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aeropix
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Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:58 am

Bombarier: A company ahead of its time.
I think it's a real shame they have squandered the huge lead they had since the late 1980's. The CRJ having been first to market and also a game changing product that spawned an entirely new market segment should have made them a global leader in the small jet space. The C-Series also seems to be a superior product in its segment. This should have positioned the company and entire country of Canada as an Aerospace powerhouse. I am still shocked that the normally protectionist Canadian government sold off the whole lot, rather than saving it for the Canadian people.
 
Noshow
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Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:05 am

I see it mainly as a management problem. B seem to have some talent mismanaging formerly profitable units if I look at rail. Sometimes zigzagging strategically and being quite rude internally.
Having said that, the big RJ market is super tricky. High cost and quality requirements like a full narrow body program but yielding like a regional aircraft. They still did several good aviation products. Including the CSeries. They certainly know how to build airplanes.
 
Sokes
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Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:01 am

Do you think developing smaller planes didn't give them a head start? From the start they over-fulfilled expectations.

The first mistake was that Bombardier didn't issue new shares for two billion $ or so when they started the program. I guess it wasn't done so that the power of the main shareholder didn't get diluted.
The second mistake was that the learning/ cost of working with carbon fiber reinforced plastic didn't improve as expected.
The third mistake was that Pratt and Whitney preferred to work on Airbus's engine. Airbus who launched nearly three years later was able to deliver as many planes in one month as Bombardier in ten months. ( see post 10 from viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1427945&p=21550659#p21550659 )
The fourth mistake are cheap oil prices.
The fifth mistake was an optimism to finance such a huge project with profits from rail/ business aviation.
The sixth mistake was that they were working on a lot of new designs beside the C-Series. It wasn't a mistake. It was only a mistake considering their finances.
The seventh mistake was to give residual value guarantees for planes they sold.
The eight mistake was to sell 49.5% stake in the C-Series to Quebec for 1 billion $. It was clear 1 billion $ is not enough and that destroyed any chance to sell it
to a Chinese investor. They should have sold the plane to Comac.
I however doubt politics would have allowed that. Even if Canada played along, Pratt and Whitney with lot of American government military contracts also had to "agree". I wonder how Bombardier would have done if they had been able to get an engine from Rolls Royce instead.
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report- ... e35043525/


I expected that airlines who declare their concern about the environment would order the plane. Stupid me!
Last edited by Sokes on Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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CO777DAL
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Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:01 am

The first mistake was the devils chariot aka CRJ-200. They should have stop there and stick to private jets. It is by far the worst modern jet airliner I have flown in. After one flight in that plane I never wanted to step foot on another Bombardier passenger aircraft again.
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Polot
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Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:18 am

JayinKitsap wrote:
A bit sassy, but the one business the scored in - they sold. Ski Doos.

Personally, I think BBD could have pulled off the C-series if their rail operations hadn't been such a drain I recall there were 5 major projects that teetered on default. Hard to get the next customer that way when you can't bond the jobs. Via Rail selected the competition because of their years long delays.

It wasn’t just the rail division. At the same time BBD was spending all this money on the C series they were also spending all their money on the new Global 7500/8000 (deliveries only just started back in December) and on the Learjet 85. Which was canceled after first flight with two built. So all that money wasted.

BBD’s aviation division had their hands in too many cookie jars at the same time.
 
DiamondFlyer
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Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:22 am

CO777DAL wrote:
The first mistake was the devils chariot aka CRJ-200. They should have stop there and stick to private jets. It is by far the worst modern jet airliner I have flown in. After one flight in that plane I never wanted to step foot on another Bombardier passenger aircraft again.


Stop being so dramatic. The 145 is miles worse than the 200, and when you sit and look at it, both are substantially better for passenger comfort than a SF34, ATR or older Dash 8. The CRJ line opened up tons of flying that otherwise probably wouldn’t be happening today
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MIflyer12
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Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:01 pm

9Patch wrote:
The first mistake was not realizing that the segment they were targeting with the C Series was not just an extension of the markets they knew.

The second mistake was believing Bombardier’s experience in developing smaller aircraft (28 in 20 years!) would give it a head start and take it up the learning curve quickly for the C Series as well.

The third mistake was underestimating the challenge of getting its supply chain to deliver on specifications, time and cost.



Knowing a lot less than you think you do - one could call that hubris.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:04 pm

CO777DAL wrote:
The first mistake was the devils chariot aka CRJ-200. They should have stop there and stick to private jets. It is by far the worst modern jet airliner I have flown in. After one flight in that plane I never wanted to step foot on another Bombardier passenger aircraft again.


If the alternative to a CR2 is an E145, Q400 (or older), Saab 340, or ATR42 I'll take the CR2 every day of the week. Stability and quiet have value to me.
 
RJMAZ
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Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:15 pm

Making the C series with a cross section half way between 5ab and 6ab was their biggest mistake.

Airlines want to make profit, not to give passengers an extra inch of seat width. Knock 6inchs off the width off the C series width and you would reduce weight, reduce drag and improve fuel burn.

Per seat costs of the C series wasn't that great. Had they been 5% better the aircraft would have sold like hotcakes!!
 
TheKennady2
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Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:35 pm

CO777DAL wrote:
The first mistake was the devils chariot aka CRJ-200. They should have stop there and stick to private jets. It is by far the worst modern jet airliner I have flown in. After one flight in that plane I never wanted to step foot on another Bombardier passenger aircraft again.


The CRJ-200 older Models with the Low windows are indeed a pain to fly in especially it the plane is full. Other than they are not that bad, tolerable if the flight is under 1.5 hrs which most are.
 
Amiga500
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Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:42 pm

9Patch wrote:
Aviation Week has an opinion piece on Bombardier’s mistakes in commercial aircraft that led to the company exiting the business:

Opinion: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures


Whoever wrote that doesn't really understand what went on and have just touched on handwavingly obvious issues.

1. The internal politics of Bombardier means that the various sites must compete against each other for work; which means realistic financial and time forecasts don't exist as each of the specialist units that know the area cannot afford to tell the truth or they will be out of work.

2. Fuel prices at conceptual design were very high and forecast to go much higher, this affects the dynamics of design/build cost vs operating cost calculus. See point (5) for fall out.

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.

4. The indecision around whether to launch or not in 2006/2007 did not help in terms of getting quality suppliers on board on favourable terms.

5. The CFRP wing design is too good (and expensive) for the role of the aircraft. A cheaper metallic alternative that would have been >95% as good would have been a better alternative.

6. Supplier management was an obvious issue, the board thought they could get investment money out of China, instead they have a load of fuselage barrels that are only fit to fly as payload in a cargo aircraft!

7. The CS300 should have been launch aircraft.

8. The market should have defined which way BBD went after that, CS100 or CS500. It would have been CS500 and orders would have followed.

9. Nothing was learned from (6), as the Global7000 was launched on a similarly half-assed supplier management basis, which further sucked money and expertise out of the company. Global had to be done, but the dithering in 2006 coupled with the Lear85 debacle which resulted in the CSeries overrun forced an overlap of both programs being in design at once rather than CSeries in service, Global in design.

10. Pierre was unwilling to sufficiently discount the aircraft to get blue chip customers onboard early and build confidence in the longevity of the program. Apart from Swiss, there wasn't really any other till Air Canada (I believe).


All of this is roughly chronological in order and many within the company knew it at the time. This was not knowledge accrued with the benefit of hindsight. The only issue beyond the control of the BBD board was (2), and even then, they should have considered the "what if" scenario.
 
westaust
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Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:42 pm

Bombardier lost good management people due to being a family controlled company, everyone knew Pierre Beaudoin would become CEO, and every title he held to get to there cost them some good management as they knew they couldn't become CEO or before that, head of aviation.

Also, the C-Series was the first project that Bombardier completely designed from scratch, everything else both in airplanes and rail was based on something they bought through a merger!
 
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DL747400
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Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:52 pm

Most of the items highlighted above as "Bombardier's failures" could also be applied to Boeing (787 and now MAX fiascos?).

Large corporations make big, expensive mistakes all the time. In the cases of Bombardier and Boeing, I find it interesting that these failures were foreseeable and preventable. Along the path to failure there are almost always an extensive series of warning signs, missed clues and unrecognized opportunities.

People making decisions within the highest levels of major corporations are often overwhelmed with data. In dysfunctional companies, the people who surround and report to them are sometimes not free to reach a decision on their own. They are told after the fact that a decision has been made, then sent on a mission to cherry pick data and build a case supporting that decision. Highly effective leadership teams work the other way around. They take a more holistic view of the data and then follow where the data leads them.

While they are never likely to be shared publicly and on the record, I for one would love to hear from Bombardier and Boeing employees who saw warning signs and expressed concerns, but were either ignored, overruled, or punished for speaking up. A growing problem in companies of all sizes is that employees throughout an organization often fear retaliation/retribution if they speak up on an issue or raise a concern, even if doing so via an approved process.
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9Patch
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Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:17 pm

DL747400 wrote:
In dysfunctional companies, the people who surround and report to them are sometimes not free to reach a decision on their own. They are told after the fact that a decision has been made, then sent on a mission to cherry pick data and build a case supporting that decision.

We could apply that to Airbus' decision to build the A380 too.
 
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Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:29 pm

DiamondFlyer wrote:
CO777DAL wrote:
The first mistake was the devils chariot aka CRJ-200. They should have stop there and stick to private jets. It is by far the worst modern jet airliner I have flown in. After one flight in that plane I never wanted to step foot on another Bombardier passenger aircraft again.


Stop being so dramatic. The 145 is miles worse than the 200, and when you sit and look at it, both are substantially better for passenger comfort than a SF34, ATR or older Dash 8. The CRJ line opened up tons of flying that otherwise probably wouldn’t be happening today


Nothing flying in the skies today will squeeze you like a 200. Would I take it over a dash or an ATR? Yes, I would—because props suck even worse. But that’s about as far as I’d go.

Even the lav in the 145 is roomier.
Last edited by PPVRA on Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
Amiga500
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Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:29 pm

9Patch wrote:
DL747400 wrote:
In dysfunctional companies, the people who surround and report to them are sometimes not free to reach a decision on their own. They are told after the fact that a decision has been made, then sent on a mission to cherry pick data and build a case supporting that decision.

We could apply that to Airbus' decision to build the A380 too.


Absolutely.

Corporate inertia grew to a point that it was the folks saying "no, this isn't a good idea" that got marginalised. Which of course quickly meant there was a bunch of clapping seals around the decision makers saying it was a great idea.

I worry that the same thing is happening Boeing with a 7AB NMA. I think it has been going on too long now for it to be impossible that there is not institutional bias in favour of launching it.

Although, I suppose in saying that, in point (4) of my earlier post, I derided BBD for being unable to make up their minds. The difference of course being they authorized marketing the thing in 2005, then stopped it in 2006, then restarted it in 2007. If the market studies conducted over several years were right in 2005, how did they go 180 degrees in one year (2006), then be reversed again a year later (2007)?
 
queb
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Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:42 pm

westaust wrote:
Bombardier lost good management people due to being a family controlled company, everyone knew Pierre Beaudoin would become CEO, and every title he held to get to there cost them some good management as they knew they couldn't become CEO or before that, head of aviation.

Also, the C-Series was the first project that Bombardier completely designed from scratch, everything else both in airplanes and rail was based on something they bought through a merger!


Not true, the Global Express and Challenger 300 were designed from scratch. Two very big success.
 
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767333ER
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Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:10 pm

Well quite clearly it was mostly due to mismanagement. The sad thing they are the one’s nearly going out of business even though they’re mismanagement isn’t the kind that killed hundreds of people.
Been on: 732 733 734 73G 738 752 763 A319 A320 A321 CRJ CR7 CRA/CR9 E145 E175 E190 F28 MD-82 MD-83 C172R C172S P2006T PA-28-180

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AWACSooner
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Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Fri Aug 09, 2019 4:09 pm

Max Q wrote:
Airbus is the happy beneficiary of superb engineering on BD’s part of which this program was only able to survive by the Canadian government bail out

Yah...and I’m still trying to figure out how that passed all legalities...oh well.


Opining on the CRJ vs ERJ debate...I’ll take an ER4 over a CR2 every day of the week. Give me my aisle/window seat ;)
 
VV
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Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Fri Aug 09, 2019 4:19 pm

It is dead and almost buried.
 
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rikkus67
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Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:01 pm

RJMAZ wrote:
Making the C series with a cross section half way between 5ab and 6ab was their biggest mistake.

Airlines want to make profit, not to give passengers an extra inch of seat width. Knock 6inchs off the width off the C series width and you would reduce weight, reduce drag and improve fuel burn.

Per seat costs of the C series wasn't that great. Had they been 5% better the aircraft would have sold like hotcakes!!


Ummm...511 and climbing. And by all instances, customers have been very happy with the product.

Does it suck that BBD couldn't pull it off by themselves (especially after the Boeing debacle)? YES. Will the CSeries/A220 product continue? YES. Will there be further development? YES.

With Global Markets forever consolidating, we will see smaller players become part of a larger network. It is interesting to see history repeat....with BBD taking over Canadair (itself the original developer of the Learjet-designed Challenger into the CRJ - which Lear always intended), Learjet itself, DeHavilland Canada, and Shorts.
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GalaxyFlyer
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Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:22 pm

Not so fast, the Lear design was closer to the Challenger 300 in size. Canadair enlarged the barrel to accommodate the FDX requirement. Then, GE didn’t get the CF-34 approved for civil sales, so the design was hobbled by the Lycoming engine. Bill Lear never intended his design to be an airliner.

Yes, hubris but a lot of family internal politics were involved. Laurent Beaudoin drove a huge success with the CRJ, stock prices soared during the 90s as he had introduced a truly revolutionary idea—small jet airliner. Pierre took over after the market for the design was saturated and Embraer had developed a better “mousetrap” which was nearly identical to the BRJ-X. Pierre had to carry the family forward and beat the father. Hence the C-Series, hence the LR-85 and the Global 7000 (now 7500). Three major Part 25 projects at once was probably too much for Boeing, let alone undercapitalized BBD. Look at the Board’s membership, very much Quebec and family centered.

GF
 
golfradio
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Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:35 pm

IMO, the primary mistake was under estimating the ferocity with which Boeing and Airbus would defend their turf. BBD was stymied at every sale campaign they ran for the CSeries, from Air Asia to EasyJet to United to the final nail in the coffin, the import tariffs.They assumed Boeing and Airbus would ignore the 100-160 seat segment
CSeries forever. Bring back the old site.
 
TObound
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Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:39 pm

Far too few people know about and focus on the Learjet billion dollar screw up. That right there was the capital that would have kept the CSeries going. The next major mistake is assuming that they’d fly under the radar with a 150 seat plane leading them to launch with the CS100. As the saying goes, “You come at the king, you best not miss.” They should have launched with the CS300 and then the CS500 right after. With the capital leftover from the Learjet fiasco and this model lineup, they’d have made it out of the valley of death.
Last edited by TObound on Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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rikkus67
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Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:41 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Not so fast, the Lear design was closer to the Challenger 300 in size. Canadair enlarged the barrel to accommodate the FDX requirement. Then, GE didn’t get the CF-34 approved for civil sales, so the design was hobbled by the Lycoming engine. Bill Lear never intended his design to be an airliner.


Here's a more in depth explanation of the Learstar 600 to Challenger 600 (wikipedia):

In April 1976, Canadair acquired the LearStar 600 concept. By this point, it was a 63 by 53.3 ft (19.2 by 16.2 m) long and wide aircraft capable of a maximum speed of Mach 0.85 and a range of 7,240 km (3,910 nmi); as an executive jet it had sufficient capacity for 14 passengers, in a freighter configuration it had a 3,400 kg (7,500 lbs) payload capacity, loaded and unloaded via a forward door, or as commuter airliner it could seat up to 30 passengers in a 2-1 seating configuration.[5] Canadair developed the design into a large airframe furnished with a new supercritical wing design, new avionics and engines, as well as for compliance with new FAR part 25 standards. The configuration was frozen in August and a 1/25 model was tested in the National Aeronautical Establishment transonic wind tunnel.[5] Reportedly, in excessof 1,800 hours of wind tunnel testing was performed upon the supercritical wing alone.[6]

Backed by the Federal Government, the programme was launched on 29 October 1976 with firm orders and deposits for 53 aircraft.[5] Within the next two years, roughly 2,500 employees would be involved in designing the aircraft.[6] Various changes to the original Learstar configuration had been made on the run up to launch, such as the conventional tailplane being substituted for a T-tail counterpart after the former was found to be in the path of the engine's exhaust flow, the relocation of fuel storage to the wings, and multiple increases of the aircraft's gross weight.[5][6] Following disagreements over the direction of the programme, Bill Lear was phased out of involvement; accordingly, in March 1977, the aircraft was renamed the Challenger 600.[5] Reportedly, following his disassociation with the venture, Lear referred to Canadair's revised design as Fat Albert.[6] Following Lear's death in May 1978, Canadair paid an estimated $25 million to his estate for his contribution to the programme.[6]

Due to the expansion of the design, the original powerplant configuration became untenable; thus engine manufacturer Lycoming proposed developing a new model, the Lycoming ALF 502L, which Canadair's design team accepted for the enlarged Challenger and drew up its general arrangement around.[6] The type's wide cargo door had been designed in response to the needs of FedEx, the type's original launch customer, having placed an order for 25 aircraft. Additionally, FedEx had experienced problems with the General Electric CF34 engines, and favoured the Lycoming ALF 502D instead; those later had delivery troubles and lacked performance.[5] Reportedly, FedEx converted most of its orders into the Challenger's stretched version, intending to carry up to 12,500 lb of freight at a time using them.[6] However, FedEx ultimately opted to cancel its orders due to the US Airline Deregulation Act, and the specific aircraft that were already in production were sold to other customers instead.[5]
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rikkus67
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Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:43 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Yes, hubris but a lot of family internal politics were involved. Laurent Beaudoin drove a huge success with the CRJ, stock prices soared during the 90s as he had introduced a truly revolutionary idea—small jet airliner. Pierre took over after the market for the design was saturated and Embraer had developed a better “mousetrap” which was nearly identical to the BRJ-X. Pierre had to carry the family forward and beat the father. Hence the C-Series, hence the LR-85 and the Global 7000 (now 7500). Three major Part 25 projects at once was probably too much for Boeing, let alone undercapitalized BBD. Look at the Board’s membership, very much Quebec and family centered.

GF


...all of which is completely correct.
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TObound
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Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:44 pm

golfradio wrote:
IMO, the primary mistake was under estimating the ferocity with which Boeing and Airbus would defend their turf. BBD was stymied at every sale campaign they ran for the CSeries, from Air Asia to EasyJet to United to the final nail in the coffin, the import tariffs.They assumed Boeing and Airbus would ignore the 100-160 seat segment


A truly moronic take on their part given that anybody could look at that wing and tell it was sized for a 180 seat CS500 at minimum. Right at the heart of the narrowbody market that is the bread and butter of Boeing and Airbus narrowbody portfolios. They weren’t going to wait around for Bombardier to grow and pull that off. On the flip side, the big guys did largely ignore the E2. Because it was pretty clear that Embraer was never going to get past 150 seats. Or at least not in any truly marketable way.

The moment called for Bombardier to go big. Launch with the CS300. Move to the CS500. And design your program and manufacturing line to be profitable at 10 frames per month, with the ability to scale to 15 reasonably quickly. They launched with the wrong models and too little capital.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:19 pm

Rikkus67,

Well versed, I was there at Cartierville in’80; watched number 13 push out of assembly.

GF
 
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DL747400
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Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:58 pm

9Patch wrote:
DL747400 wrote:
In dysfunctional companies, the people who surround and report to them are sometimes not free to reach a decision on their own. They are told after the fact that a decision has been made, then sent on a mission to cherry pick data and build a case supporting that decision.

We could apply that to Airbus' decision to build the A380 too.


Yes, you are absolutely right! :checkmark:

I think it was Airbus's desire to out-do Boeing and possibly kill the 747 program which lead them to green light the A380 program when more prudent leadership team would not have ignored the warning signs and overhype the risk versus reward assessment.
From First to Worst: The history of Airliners.net.

All posts reflect my opinions, not those of my employer or any other company.
 
RJMAZ
Posts: 2052
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:54 am

Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:10 am

rikkus67 wrote:
Ummm...511 and climbing. And by all instances, customers have been very happy with the product.
Airbus can afford to sell them at cost. Airbus can also offer then as a package deal with their other products.

Bombardier could not sell the aircraft based on performance only on cost. The per seat performance of the C series is average. It needed to be above average to break into the market and be worth the risk of airlines ordering an unknown type. Bombardier could easily have improved fuel efficiency by 5+% but decided against it. This was the biggest strategic mistake as we know fuel burn sells.

Bombardier obviously listened to Boeings marketing about them continuously talking about passenger comfort 15 years ago. Boeing then put in an extra seat in the 787 and left Bombardier with an aircraft not suitable for the market.

Everyone talks about stretching the C series/ A220 to improve per passenger costs by 5+%. They agree this is needed to get more sales. When I point out they could have got that 5+% cost reduction by a tighter cross section, they say that the reduced per passenger costs now aren't needed.
 
Noise
Posts: 2469
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 1999 7:38 am

Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:30 am

Can we have our tax dollars back?
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 6251
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Sat Aug 10, 2019 11:03 am

The A220-100, from crews, burns a bit less than a CRJ, so I don’t where the idea its only average cost per seat. Making it 4 across would have only been a copy of the E-170 which they, by design, wanted to avoid and get out of the RJ dwindling market.
 
Amiga500
Posts: 2645
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2015 8:22 am

Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:17 pm

RJMAZ wrote:
The per seat performance of the C series is average.


The CS300 (160 seats) has CASM within margin of error relative to the A320 neo (190 seats).

How is that not above average?



Could it have been better? Yes. Is it good enough? It should have been if they'd executed the program right.

A comfortable 5AB that matches any 6AB competitor on CASM and wins on trip cost would have been a real point-of-difference for airlines.
 
dr1980
Posts: 183
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2016 9:55 pm

Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:58 pm

CO777DAL wrote:
The first mistake was the devils chariot aka CRJ-200. They should have stop there and stick to private jets. It is by far the worst modern jet airliner I have flown in. After one flight in that plane I never wanted to step foot on another Bombardier passenger aircraft again.


They sold more than 1000 CRJ1’s and CRJ2’s so I fail to see how they were a mistake.
Dave/CYHZ
 
Sokes
Posts: 1841
Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:48 pm

Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:50 pm

Amiga500 wrote:
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?
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?
 
queb
Posts: 1025
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2010 3:10 am

Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Sat Aug 10, 2019 3:14 pm

Noise wrote:
Can we have our tax dollars back?


Huh? BBD received $375 millions in loans from federal and QC governments for the CRJ, they received (and still counting) $656 millions in royalties...

For the A220, launch aid is refunded via royalties on each aircraft delivered. For the CDPQ 30% share investment in BT Holdco, the way the deal is builded make it almost impossible for the CDPQ to loss money. For the Québec government 19% share (for a $1 billions usd) in the A220, it will depend on the value of the aircraft in 2023 (or later) but it easy to say that their 19% share will easily be valued more than the billion they put in the program.

So can we talk about Boeing tax break now? When will they be refunded? (No need to respond, it's a rhetoric question...)

Sorry if my english is not so good, I do the best I can.
Last edited by queb on Sat Aug 10, 2019 3:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
queb
Posts: 1025
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2010 3:10 am

Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Sat Aug 10, 2019 3:21 pm

queb wrote:
Huh? BBD received $375 millions in loans from federal and QC governments for the CRJ, they received (and still counting) $656 millions in royalties...


I made a mistake, BBD received approximately $180 million in loans for the CRJ program and reimbursed $315 million. from 1986 to 2009, Bombardier received a series of reimbursable loans totalling $596 million. These loans were repaid with interest through royalties on aircraft sales. Bombardier repaid $760 million. Bombardier received additional loans in 2009 and in 2017, totalling $816 million, to support the C Series and the Global 7500. As with past loans, repayments are made through royalties.

https://torontosun.com/opinion/columnis ... for-canada
 
TObound
Posts: 783
Joined: Mon May 27, 2019 12:54 am

Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:22 pm

queb wrote:
queb wrote:
Huh? BBD received $375 millions in loans from federal and QC governments for the CRJ, they received (and still counting) $656 millions in royalties...


I made a mistake, BBD received approximately $180 million in loans for the CRJ program and reimbursed $315 million. from 1986 to 2009, Bombardier received a series of reimbursable loans totalling $596 million. These loans were repaid with interest through royalties on aircraft sales. Bombardier repaid $760 million. Bombardier received additional loans in 2009 and in 2017, totalling $816 million, to support the C Series and the Global 7500. As with past loans, repayments are made through royalties.

https://torontosun.com/opinion/columnis ... for-canada


Don’t bother. Canadians are happy to sell out our industries to foreigners. And will swallow whole the propaganda from Americans who simply structure their subsidies in other ways. Consider that Canada does not have a large military industrial complex to help hide/fund tech development and to help subsidize Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft venture.

If the Government of Canada had any cojones it would have simply funded the CSeries as a military VVIP transport project.... The CS300 would also be a fantastic frame for maritime patrol, AWACS, etc. This kind of ambition though is very unCanadian.
 
Sokes
Posts: 1841
Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:48 pm

Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Sun Aug 11, 2019 5:11 am

westaust wrote:
Bombardier lost good management people due to being a family controlled company, everyone knew Pierre Beaudoin would become CEO, and every title he held to get to there cost them some good management as they knew they couldn't become CEO or before that, head of aviation.


What do you mean with a good manager?


DL747400 wrote:
People making decisions within the highest levels of major corporations are often overwhelmed with data. In dysfunctional companies, the people who surround and report to them are sometimes not free to reach a decision on their own. They are told after the fact that a decision has been made, then sent on a mission to cherry pick data and build a case supporting that decision.

How many people while arguing a point of view are willing to mention contradicting evidence they are aware of? And I don't speak here of arguing one's decisions.
I think we humans like it simple. Add pride in own work to it. However manager salaries should be high enough to attract people with sufficient self observation.
My idea of a manager is somebody who appreciates contradicting evidence and appreciates that human decision making always include the possibility of mistakes. Will people say "Oh, he is a trained thinker." or will they say "Oh, he himself is not sure what to do."?
Second, he needs to be smart to choose the right people. And these people need to have decision making power, as you rightly point out.


Amiga500 wrote:
Corporate inertia grew to a point that it was the folks saying "no, this isn't a good idea" that got marginalised. Which of course quickly meant there was a bunch of clapping seals around the decision makers saying it was a great idea.
...
they authorized marketing the thing in 2005, then stopped it in 2006, then restarted it in 2007. If the market studies conducted over several years were right in 2005, how did they go 180 degrees in one year (2006), then be reversed again a year later (2007)?


Amazing how much truth fits in a humorous metaphor.
If I had to be a manager I would put a picture of a clapping seal on the wall behind my chair. I wonder how much improvement a manager could get by just this poster alone.
So if you have a friend who happens to be manager, you know what to give for his next birthday.

Managers who are obsessed with market studies for planes should get lost. Do you believe in your product or not? At any rate nobody knows petrol prices 8 years in advance or how a yet to be developed engine is going to perform.
Marketing study B747: On the long run only suitable as freighter.
Marketing study A380: Most of those airline who gave their generous inputs later didn't order many of the planes.



GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Laurent Beaudoin drove a huge success with the CRJ, ... Pierre had to carry the family forward and beat the father. Hence the C-Series, hence the LR-85 and the Global 7000 (now 7500). Three major Part 25 projects at once was probably too much for Boeing, let alone undercapitalized BBD. Look at the Board’s membership, very much Quebec and family centered.

GF


Maybe or maybe not, but that is an assumption I'm not going to forget.
Would you say Pierre succeeded?
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?
 
KlimaBXsst
Posts: 868
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:14 pm

Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:29 pm

Personally in regards to the C Series...I do not see it as a mistake in any way. Much like ULCC’s the now A220 serves as a disrupter to the existing Airbus, Boeing, and Embraer technologies.

The problem was the A220 was a bit of an ambitious leap fro the manufacturing investments and timeline of production introduction of the type. The C Series is / was perfect for a start up airline company that could accept a little new technology risk as such airline moves away from a small and leased fleet of other aircraft.

Due to their size the A220 can also easily find a place in the US 3 fleets or even WN.

For the others out there, I see the Embraer E2 Series as a far more flexible and low risk family line and product for a start up. JetBlue’s decision to go C Series is perplexing to say the least but is kind of testament Bombardier did not make a mistake.
Aesthetically the A 340 got it right!
 
KlimaBXsst
Posts: 868
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:14 pm

Re: The Mistakes Behind Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Failures

Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:47 pm

The Bombardier Regional Jet. It was simply surpassed by newer more modern and comfortable technology. There was no mistake here either. The choices were not cost productive.

• invest in a new fuselage
• invest in a better wing, with New EO.
• develop a prop fan replacement

Non were good options either especially considering they still had the Q Series going. Like Lockheed, Bombardier concluded there was not enough profit on the commercial side in the end to justify continuation of these possible projects .... and they were partly forced to this conclusion by the C Series. So the C Series costs hastened what was coming to Bombardier any way.

The exit from the commercial passenger side of the av industry.
Aesthetically the A 340 got it right!

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