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Life just got a little bit harder for Boeing (NYSE: BA ) and Airbus, the two incumbent giants of the global airplane industry. On Thursday, Canadian airplane-and-locomotives builder Bombardier (NASDAQOTH: BDRAF ) drew the curtain on its new CSeries passenger aircraft, revealing a plane that is "making solid progress," and just about ready to begin flight testing.
The new CS300 airplane, which will be powered by United Technologies (NYSE: UTX ) subsidiary Pratt & Whitney's PurePower Geared Turbofan, is capable of seating up to 160 passengers, putting it in the same league with Boeing's venerable 737, or Airbus's A320 line of aircraft. Bombardier noted that it's primarily targeting the 100- to149-seat market segment, roughly the same size as a Boeing 737-200.
Boasting that once the plane begins selling, it will offer "best-in-class seat mile costs and comfort," Bombardier threw down the gauntlet in front of the incumbents. Already, global airlines are rushing to pick it up. To date, Bombardier says it has booked "orders and commitments" for 382 CSeries aircraft, with 148 of these being "firm" orders.