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Old 01-23-2002, 02:59 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Plano,TX USA
Posts: 388
The Snap-Together Business Jet

Bombardier's new recipe: a dozen big pieces, four days to assemble them, and it's ready to fly
The flags hang high above the assembly line, starting at the rear with the Stars and Stripes and progressing forward through Canada's Maple Leaf and the banners of Germany, Austria, Australia, France, Britain, Taiwan, and Japan. Down below, a new corporate jet is taking shape as it moves through five production stations in which great chunks of it are rolled in and joined together. The flags signal the sources of those big subassemblies: the engines from Phoenix, the nose and cockpit from Montreal, the mid-fuselage from Belfast, the tail from Taichung, the wings from Nagoya, and lesser parts from cities in four other countries.

For aviation buffs, this factory on the edge of Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita is hallowed ground. For nearly four decades, Learjets, the sports cars of corporate aviation, have been built here from sheets and bars of aluminum. Three Lear models still roll out of the facility. But the plane taking shape beneath the flags is the Bombardier Continental, named for Lear's Montreal owner and the jet's Miami-to-Seattle range. It's put together the way Bombardier will build all its planes in the future. Not counting rivets, it takes just a dozen big parts, all made elsewhere, to assemble the Continental to the point that it looks ready to fly--fewer than are found in a Revell model kit.

Although the first Continental won't be delivered until next winter, Bombardier has orders for 95 and has earmarked another 25 for FlexJet, a subsidiary that sells fractional shares of business aircraft. Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, executive-jet sales have weakened, but no Continental customer has canceled. Three of the planes are now in flight test, and others are moving slowly through assembly. When the line is up to full speed, production time will rival that of an adolescent model builder: just four days to put together a plane and get it in the air.

http://www.fortune.com/indexw.jhtml?...&doc_id=205976
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Old 01-23-2002, 02:59 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Plano,TX USA
Posts: 388
The Snap-Together Business Jet

Bombardier's new recipe: a dozen big pieces, four days to assemble them, and it's ready to fly
The flags hang high above the assembly line, starting at the rear with the Stars and Stripes and progressing forward through Canada's Maple Leaf and the banners of Germany, Austria, Australia, France, Britain, Taiwan, and Japan. Down below, a new corporate jet is taking shape as it moves through five production stations in which great chunks of it are rolled in and joined together. The flags signal the sources of those big subassemblies: the engines from Phoenix, the nose and cockpit from Montreal, the mid-fuselage from Belfast, the tail from Taichung, the wings from Nagoya, and lesser parts from cities in four other countries.

For aviation buffs, this factory on the edge of Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita is hallowed ground. For nearly four decades, Learjets, the sports cars of corporate aviation, have been built here from sheets and bars of aluminum. Three Lear models still roll out of the facility. But the plane taking shape beneath the flags is the Bombardier Continental, named for Lear's Montreal owner and the jet's Miami-to-Seattle range. It's put together the way Bombardier will build all its planes in the future. Not counting rivets, it takes just a dozen big parts, all made elsewhere, to assemble the Continental to the point that it looks ready to fly--fewer than are found in a Revell model kit.

Although the first Continental won't be delivered until next winter, Bombardier has orders for 95 and has earmarked another 25 for FlexJet, a subsidiary that sells fractional shares of business aircraft. Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, executive-jet sales have weakened, but no Continental customer has canceled. Three of the planes are now in flight test, and others are moving slowly through assembly. When the line is up to full speed, production time will rival that of an adolescent model builder: just four days to put together a plane and get it in the air.

http://www.fortune.com/indexw.jhtml?...&doc_id=205976
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