Here’s the Canadian jet Boeing is fighting to keep out of America

A Bombardier C Series prototype.

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A Bombardier C Series prototype.
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Bombardier

    Airbus now owns 50.01% of Bombardier’s advanced C Series airliner program. The US Department of Commerce has proposed a 299.45% tariff on C Series coming to the US. Airbus will now build the US-bound C Series jets in Alabama to get around potential tariffs. The C Series is an ultra fuel-efficient composite airliner that promises great passenger comfort.

On Monday, Airbus announced that it has acquired a 50.01% stake in Bombardier’s next-generation C Series airliner program. Mechanisms within this week’s deal will see Airbus taking complete ownership of the C Series program in less than five years.

The C Series is the same aircraft at the heart of a simmering trade war between Canada and the US.

On September 26, the US Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration called for a tariff of 219.63% on Bombardier’s C Series jet. A week later, the ITA called for another 79.82% tariff. In total, all C Series jets entering the US could be subject to tariffs of 299.45%.

The action was taken in response to a complaint filed by Boeing in April regarding Delta Air Lines’ order for 75 of the Canadian jets.

Boeing believes that its business was harmed by Bombardier using Canadian government subsidies to give Delta a price substantially below the cost of building the planes.

In response, Bombardier and Delta have called the ITA’s preliminary decision “absurd.” Last week, on the airline’s earnings call, Delta CEO Ed Bastian that his company will not pay the proposed tariffs.

The deal between Airbus and Bombardier is a direct response to the looming tariff action.

Although Airbus will make no up-front cash investment in the program, production of US-bound C Series jets will switch from Quebec, Canada to its factory in Mobile, Alabama.

The two firms believe producing the C Series in the US will bypass any potential tariffs levied by the Department of Commerce.

But what about the plane itself? What makes it so special?

Shortly after the announcement of Delta’s controversial C Series order in April 2016, Bombardier flew one of its CS100 demonstrators down to the airline’s Atlanta headquarters for journalists and the airline’s staff to get a closer look.


Bombardier offers two versions of the C Series: a 130-seat CS300 and a smaller 108-seat CS100. Delta chose the smaller CS100, but expect the airline to switch some of its order to the larger CS300 down the road.

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Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

Delta is expected to receive its first CS100 in the spring of 2018, but that may be delayed as a result of the Airbus deal.

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Bombardier

Bombardier believes the C Series’ greatest selling points are its efficiency and cabin comfort.

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Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

A major contributor to the Bombardier’s efficiency is its lightweight aluminum and composite body.

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Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

In addition, its pair of Pratt & Whitney PW1500G geared turbofan engines are some of the most fuel efficient on the market and help make the airplane 15% cheaper to operate than aircraft currently in production.

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Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

Incredibly, Air Baltic and SWISS, the plane’s launch customers have both reported that the C Series has delivered fuel economy better than what was promised by Bombardier.

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Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

According to Bombardier, the C Series also emits 20% less carbon dioxide during operation and is the quietest airliner on the market.

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Bombardier

With a range of more than 3,500 miles, the CS100 allows Delta to operate routes its smaller jets had not been able to reach before.

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Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

Step inside the Bombardier’s cabin and you’ll find a surprisingly spacious interior for a relatively small 108-seat aircraft. Its 19-inch seats are the widest in any single-aisle jet in the world while the enlarged windows are placed high up to allow extra light into the cabin.

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Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

Look toward the back of the plane and you see the CS100’s five-abreast seating configuration in economy class. That means there’s only one middle seat per row as opposed to two per row on the rival Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 family jets.

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Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

Since the aircraft presented to the press was one of Bombardier’s demonstrators, the interior did not have Delta’s seats, lighting, and in-flight entertainment systems. But the cabin layout is accurate.

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Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

Bombardier designed the CS100’s overhead bins to open 5 inches lower, which makes it easier to load baggage. The overhead bins are also designed to hold oversize carry-on luggage.

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Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

In addition, Bombardier claims that the C Series’ windows are 50% larger than its rivals.

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Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

Here’s the bathroom! It’s designed to afford those with reduced mobility so extra in which to maneuver.

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Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

In the cockpit, the C Series features five large, 15.1-inch displays.

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Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

The Bombardier CS100 is a full fly-by-wire aircraft, which means that the side sticks have no physical connection to the airplane’s control surfaces. Instead, the aircraft is flown through computer inputs.

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Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

The entire Bombardier C Series advanced flight deck is designed to reduce the workload on the pilots while increasing their situational awareness so they can safely and effectively fly the plane.

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Bombardier