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Lear 85 Delayed, CSeries Taking Off

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Bombardier has pushed back the first delivery date for its composite Lear 85 business jet to the middle of 2014, citing issues with the technology. Bombardier launched the program in 2007 and is building most of the components in Mexico. Final assembly and completion will be in Wichita. It will compete in the mid-to-super-midsize market with a range of 2,600 nautical miles and seating for up to eight passengers. The delay was announced on the same day Bombardier announced a major drop in fourth-quarter profits and the bad news drove the Canadian company's shares down 7 percent. There was, however, some good news for Bombardier last week on the CSeries airliner program.

A Russian leasing company ordered 32 top-of-the-line 300-series models in a deal worth about $2.5 billion. Ilyushin Finance Co. also took options on 10 more CSeries. It's the largest order to date for the CSeries. Meanwhile, Bombardier has kept the CSeries program tightly under wraps but will unveil the prototype on March 7 at a media event at the company's plant near Montreal. The first flight of the aircraft is slated for sometime in June.

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