June 2 (Reuters) - Following are key facts about Bombardier Inc's CSeries passenger jet, a narrow-body rival to Airbus and Boeing aircraft, which experienced an engine failure during ground maintenance testing on May 29, 2014.
HISTORY 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. After a series of delays, the first CSeries flight occurred on September 16, 2013.
SPECS 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 98 to 124. It will also compete with Airbus' 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 said the plane will have a 15 percent cash operating cost advantage, 20 percent fuel burn advantage and will be significantly quieter. Airbus said its upgraded A319neo will have fuel burn and cash costs similar to the CS300. The CSeries uses two of Pratt & Whitney's new geared turbofan engines, the PurePower PW1500G, and have a range of 2,950 nautical miles (5,463 km). It is 12,000 pounds (5,400 kg) lighter than other aircraft in the same seat category.
ORDERS The jet is scheduled to enter service in the second half of 2015, and the company has said it wants 300 firm orders by then. Bombardier said it had 447 orders and commitments, which includes 203 firm orders for the planes as of March 31, 2014. These companies have placed firm orders for the two CSeries models, Bombardier said:
Customer CS100 CS300 Total
Air Baltic 0 10 10 Braathens Aviation/Malmo 5 5 10 Deutsche Lufthansa 30 0 30 Gulf Air 10 0 10 Ilyushin Finance Co 32 0 32 Iraqi Airways 0 5 5 Korean Air 0 10 10 Lease Corp International 3 17 20 Odyssey Airlines 10 0 10 PrivatAir 5 0 5 Republic Airways 0 40 40 SaudiGulf Airlines 0 16 16 Undisclosed* 0 3 3 Undisclosed 0 2 2 -- -- -- 95 82 203 *Existing customer
(Reporting by Alwyn Scott; Editing by Richard Chang)