Bombardier has begun work on the CSeries aircraft wing manufacturing and assembly facility in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The CSeries aircraft programme, which was announced in July 2008 will develop longer-range, single-aisle aircraft with seating for 100 to 145 passengers.

The new 600,000ft² unit is being built in two phases and will incorporate an existing production building.

The facility’s design and layout are being optimised for the production process, to minimise environmental impact and ensure maximum energy efficiency, and will incorporate low energy solutions into its mechanical and electrical infrastructure.

The Belfast facility has successfully assembled a preproduction demonstrator wing using its resin transfer infusion advanced composites process and is on track to begin testing this in early 2010.

Testing will take place in a specialised test rig where hydraulic jacks will be used to induce bending and twisting into the wing structure, replicating every possible combination of severe loading that the wing may experience in service.

Bombardier Aerospace president and chief operating officer Guy Hachey said the CSeries aircraft programme was progressing well and to schedule, and that the first test wing was expected from Belfast in 2011.