Bombardier preps for, delays CSeries first flight

Bombardier is conducting ground vibration and other tests of the composites-intensive CSeries commercial aircraft in the run-up to first flight later this month.

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Bombardier Aerospace (Montréal, Quebec, Canada) announced on June 26 that ground vibration tests, as well as software upgrades and corresponding tests, have been completed on the first CSeries aircraft – Flight Test Vehicle 1 (FTV1). In addition, Safety of Flight (SOF) statements from all suppliers have been obtained and Bombardier’s Flight Test Centre has applied to Transport Canada for the FTV1 Flight Test Permit.

During the final testing stage in preparation for first flight, FTV1 will conduct power runs, as well as low- and high-speed taxiing. Based on the latest program review, the first flight will occur by the end of July 2013. In order to enhance the effectiveness of the flight program, Bombardier extended the timeline slightly to allow for additional software upgrades for improved system maturity and functionality.

“Only five years after launching the CSeries airliner, we’re approaching our maiden flight – a historic moment for Bombardier and a game-changing moment for the industry,” said Mike Arcamone, president, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “The success of the CSeries aircraft program so far is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our partners, suppliers and in-house teams; we have also benefitted greatly from the involvement of our customers.”

Designed for the growing 100- to 149-seat market, the all-new CSeries aircraft family combines advanced materials (composites), leading-edge technology and proven methods to meet commercial airline requirements. The CSeries aircraft will be up to 12,000 lb/5,443 kg lighter than other aircraft in the same seat category. Bombardier has booked orders and commitments for 388 CSeries aircraft, which include firm orders for 177 CSeries airliners.