6 Things You Might Not Know About Bombardier in 2024

Photo: Markus Mainka / Shutterstock

Bombardier has a long history in private aviation and other areas.


  • Initially producing snowmobiles Bombardier later made purchases to enter the commercial aviation market notably the 1986 acquisition of Canadair.
  • With more than 1800 delivered the Challenger jet series which Bombardier purchased from Canadair has proven to be its most successful aircraft.
  • In 2012 Bombardier inked a $7.8 billion contract with Vista Jet for up to 142 Bombardier Global series aircraft which was the company largest ever aircraft sale

For many years Bombardier has been a household brand in the aviation industry. With the selling of the Bombardier CSeries and its subsequent rebranding to Airbus this has considerably altered lately.

It signalled the end of Bombardiers engagement in commercial aviation and the corporation withdrew from other sectors due to associated financial difficulties.

Private aviation played a major role in its development here are some noteworthy and fascinating details about this field and the company lengthy history.

Bombardier was founded in 1942 to develop snowmobiles

Bombardier had a very different beginning despite being a major aerospace and transportation business today. The Canadian mechanic Joseph Armand Bombardier founded it with the goal of creating and selling snowmobiles. The original name of the company was LAuto Neige Bombardier Limitee.

He was already well versed in creating many snow vehicles and this continued with the business. It created a number of vehicles such as snow ploughs snowmobiles

Transport people and other modifications for different sectors. The conventional dog driven snow sledge was replaced in the 1950s by the SkiDog now known as SkiDoo.


Photo: Dédélembrouille via Wikimedia Commons

Aircraft manufacturing expanded with the purchase of Canadair

In 1986 Bombardier acquired Canadair the top Canadian manufacturer of aeroplanes. The firm had previously concentrated on snow ased vehicles and railway vehicles thus this was a significant step into the aviation industry.

Canadair began producing aircraft in the 1940s first specialising on Consolidated flying boats and a DC4 derivative. As time went on it created its own aircraft such as the CT114 Tutor the CL215 amphibious vehicle and the Challenger business jet series the initial Challenger CL600 without winglets is seen below.


Photo: Alain Rioux via Wikimedia Commons

A significant portion of the company aviation operation has consisted of this protracted process of growth via acquisition in the aviation sector. In 1989 Bombardier acquired Short Brothers in the UK as a follow up to their purchase of Canadair.

It challenged the maker of private jets in the 1990s.

Lear jet and de Havilland Canada which was purchased from Boeing and thereafter sold to Longview Aviation Capital who revived the DHC name both said that they will cease manufacturing Lear jet aircraft in 2021.


Photo: Russ Heinl I Shutterstock

The Challenger jet series has been Bombardier most delivered aircraft

When Bombardier first acquired Canadair it assumed responsibility for the Challenger business jet. The manufacturer introduced many more varieties of the Challenger 600 Series while continuing to produce and improve the model

In an effort to cater to the market for smaller business jets it also designed the Challenger 300 Series from the ground up. In all almost 1800 Challenger aircraft have been delivered. The midsize Challenger 650 has sold the most out of all the models.

Photo: Media_works | Shutterstock

In terms of sales the well liked Dash 8 turboprop is not far behind. From 1992 until 2019 this was a part of Bombardier albeit it has since been sold. More than 1200 aircraft have been delivered in total. A little more than 1000 aircraft have been delivered for the CRJ series.

The Bombardier Global 7500 is the longest range heavy private jet today

As a more expansive and long range private jetline Bombardier introduced the Global Express jet series. Impressively the Bombardier Global 7500 has a range of around 7700 nautical miles or 14260 km.

This is the maximum range that a specialised private jet model can presently deliver excluding private jet variants of Airbus and Boeing wide bodies that are part of the BBJ and ACJ programmes.

Although the Global 7500 is bigger its range is just around 200 nautical miles more than that of the well known Gulfstream G650ER aircraft.

This will be further enhanced by the future Bombardier Global 8000 engine. It will have a maximum range of 14630 kilometres or 7900 nautical miles. It is also very quick in tests with Bombardier it has already broken the sound barrier at a cruising speed of Mach 0.94.

Visual Table for Key Points

Insight Description
Origins of Innovation Inception of Bombardier in a Quebec garage.
The Aerospace Pioneers Bombardier Aerospace’s impact on aviation.
Global Reach and Impact Bombardier’s worldwide transportation role.
Birth of High-Speed Rail Revolutionizing land travel with speed.
Commitment to Sustainability Leading in sustainable aviation solutions.
The Human Element The workforce behind Bombardier’s success.

Its largest ever aircraft deal was with Vista Jet in 2012

For Bombardier the private jet market has grown significantly in importance. This was made clear in 2012 when the firm and Swiss jet operator Vista Jet inked the manufacturer large stever deal. This was for up to 142 aircraft of the Bombardier Global class valued at $7.8 billion including firm orders and options.


Photo: Matti Blume via Wikimedia Commons

The Global 5000 Global 6000 and Global 8000 jets were among them. At the time Vista Jet said that this was the single biggest business jet order ever as reported by Reuters. In the same year Bombardier also announced a sizable agreement with Net Jets. This was for Challenger Series aircraft valued at $7.3 billion

Don’t forget trains Bombardier was once the largest manufacturer globally

Although Bombardier is best known for its jets the company has long been involved in the railway manufacturing industry. This started in 1970 long before aeroplanes were manufactured and it grew via a number of acquisitions.

Its success in this country began in the mid1970s when it was awarded contracts to provide equipment for the underground systems in Montreal and subsequently New York a Bombardier unit is seen below.

Photo: Mtattrain via Wikimedia Commons

In the 1980s and 1990s the railway industry spread across Europe notably to Germany France and the United Kingdom. Following more acquisitions it rose to become the world biggest producer of rail equipment in the early 2000s.

Bombardier developed several underground and metro systems locomotives coaching stock and high speed projects either directly or via partnerships. The image below shows a united for the Delhi metro system.

The French company Alstom purchased the Bombardier Transportation segment in 2021. The financial issues with the development of the Bombardier CSeries were a major factor in this decision.

There is plenty more to discuss about the long history of Bombardier in commercial and private aviation as well as other important areas. Feel free to do so in the comments section below.

Sources: Reuters VistaJet deal

About author


Ameer is an aviation expert with over two decades of experience in the industry. With a passion for aviation that has taken him from the cockpit to the boardroom, Ameer has an extensive background in aviation management, safety, and operations. He has been at the forefront of developing innovative solutions to enhance aviation safety standards and streamline airline operations
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