Bombardier concluded Monday the sale of the $ 300 million QSeries program to the Longview Aircraft Capital group in Canada. Production of the Q400 turboprop and support for the Dash 8 models will now be handled by De Havilland Canada (DHC), a manufacturer that developed the original version of the aircraft and returns to the market as a new subsidiary of Longview after 33 years of inactivity.
With the change of command, the Q400 was renamed as “Dash 8-400”, following the natural order of the Dash 8 family, which had versions -100, -200 and -300. The commercial turboprop was launched in 1983 by De Havilland Canada, a manufacturer that was later privatized and acquired by Boeing in 1986 and then in 1992 by Bombardier, which changed the name of the Dash 8 program to QSeries.
The Dash 8-400 will continue to be produced in Downsview, in the suburban city of Toronto, under a lease that extends through 2023. In a statement, Longview said it is seeking a new location to produce the long-term turboprop. that the plant where the model is produced was also sold by Bombardier.
In addition to the QSeries program, the “new” DHC also inherited Bombardier program director Todd Young and more than 1,200 employees.
“We are committed to a business-as-usual approach that will see no interruption to the production, delivery and support of these outstanding aircraft,” said David Curtis, CEO of Longview Aviation Capital Corp. “With the entire de Havilland product line reunited under the same banner for the first time in decades, we look forward to working with customers, suppliers and employees upon close transaction to determine what opportunities lie ahead.”
De Havilland Canada was founded in 1928 as a subsidiary of British De Havilland with the mission to produce aircraft in Canada and train the country’s military.
After World War II, DHC began to develop its own aircraft, although it continued to assemble aircraft of the British company as well as other manufacturers. His work focused on transport planes, usually with capacity to operate on short runways or in the water.
Longview Aircraft Capital has a long association with Bombardier and De Havilland Canada. In 2005 and 2006, Viking Air, one of the Canadian group’s brands, acquired all of DHC’s former off-the-shelf aircraft portfolio, from the DHC-1 Chipmunk to the DHC-7 Dash 7. In 2007, the company resumed production of the DHC-6 Twin Otter, with the updated 400 series.
The Canadian group is also reviewing the option to acquire the regional jet program CRJ, today Bombardier’s latest commercial aviation product, as the company is also no longer ahead of the CSeries family, now controlled by Airbus and renamed A220.