A second Bombardier Continental super-midsize jet joined the flight-test program on October 9 with a 2 hr 41 min initial hop from Wichita. The twinjet reached an altitude of 35,000 ft and a speed of 250 kt, during which aircraft systems were evaluated. Test pilots Doug May and Ed Grabman conducted numerous tests on the aircraft’s bleed air, hydraulics, fuel and electrical systems, according to Bombardier. Three more aircraft are scheduled to join the flight-test program, with the final two to be equipped with complete interiors.
Meanwhile, Bombardier said that, as of October 8, the first Continental test aircraft had logged more than 55 hr in 22 flights since it started flying on August 14. To date it has flown at speeds up to 293 kt and reached an altitude of 45,000 ft. As the flight-test program continues, the aircraft will be taken to its designed certification ceiling of 45,000 ft and “well beyond” its Mach 0.83 Mmo. Tests completed to date include APU operations and in-flight restarts of the Honeywell AS907 turbofans.
In the third quarter of next year the Continental is expected to receive U.S., Canadian and JAA type certification, with full RVSM compliance. Bombardier said it has received firm orders for more than 115 Continentals.