MONTREAL – CAE Inc. said Tuesday it has sold four full-flight simulators worth a total of more than $50 million including the first simulators for China’s C919 wide-body aircraft being developed in co-operation with Bombardier.
The flight simulator and training company sold two simulators to Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd. (COMAC) for the new aircraft and two to a Russian company for Boeing and Bombardier aircraft.
CAE said the Chinese simulators will be ready for use in 2015, prior to the aircraft’s entry into service, while the Russian simulators will be delivered in 2013.
In addition to the C919 CAE 7000 Series simulators, CAE will provide two Level 5 flight and maintenance training devices to the Chinese company.
Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) said in November that it was strengthening its collaboration with COMAC to develop common features for the CSeries and C919 aircraft.
The companies are pushing ahead with talks on the second phase of their partnership after concluding a deal to jointly develop four components.
They have already agreed to work together on cockpit-crew interfaces, electrical systems, standards and specifications for aluminum-lithium materials used in construction and technical publications.
Although not identical, the two planes will share some ergonomics, systems and suppliers.
COMAC has adopted the CSeries design concepts for the display consoles and the centre pedestal in the cockpit, making the two cockpits look and feel similar. Both companies will also use UTC Aerospace Systems to supply electrical systems that will have similar functionalities, architecture and maintenance requirements.
The same approach will apply to the use of lightweight aluminum-lithium materials and technical publications for both planes.
Bombardier is the world’s third-largest commercial aircraft manufacturer and largest maker of trains. Founded in 2008, COMAC is China’s main commercial aircraft company.
CAE (TSX:CAE) said the other two simulators were ordered by Russian aviation company NITA on behalf of the country’s air transport agency. One simulates the Boeing 737NG and the other the Bombardier CRJ200.
The Boeing simulator will be located at the Ulyanovsk Higher Civil Aviation School in Ulyanovsk, while the Bombardier simulator will be sent to St. Petersburg State University of Civil Aviation.
CAE has announced orders for 23 full-flight simulators so far this fiscal year, slightly behind the 25 orders at the same time a year ago. CAE sold 37 units last year and expects orders this year will be in the “mid-30s.”
Analyst Benoit Poirier of Desjardins Capital Markets said the orders Tuesday suggest that “momentum in civil is largely in line vs. last year.”
“Although we are confident that management will meet its guidance, we believe orders are something to watch closely,” he wrote in a report.
On the Toronto Stock Exchange, CAE’s shares closed up 11 cents at $10.16.