Bombardier’s Learjet 85 Program Faces Delay

Manufacturer cites ‘technology challenges.’

Bombardier Learjet 85

Bombardier Learjet 85

Bombardier has released its financial results for 2012, and while the order backlog for Bombardier Aerospace products continues to grow, the report delivered some bad news as well.

The all-composite Learjet 85, which was slated for entry into service this year, has now been delayed until the summer of 2014. Bombardier cited "several new technology challenges" as the reason for the delay of the business jet program. There has, however, been progress with the first flight test airplane. "The complete pressure fuselage, including the nose, aft fuselage and empennage have been joined, the landing gear has been installed and the wing is attached to the fuselage," the company said in its report.

The first flight of the CSeries commercial jetliner was also delayed last fall, but now that the Pratt & Whitney PW1500 engine that will power the CSeries has achieved Transport Canada certification, a new June target should be attainable.

Bombardier Aerospace posted decreasing delivery numbers, with 233 airplanes delivered in 2012 compared with 245 in 2011. The outlook for this year is to bring the number of deliveries back to 2011 figures, according to the report.

Revenues remained steady for the Aerospace side at $8.6 billion; however, Bombardier saw a decrease in revenues from $18.3 billion in 2011 to $16.8 billion last year. And net income for the company declined sharply from $865 million in 2011 to $598 million in 2012.