Software Glitch Delays CRJ1000 Certification, Deliveries

September 3, 2009, 12:19 PM

Bombardier has moved the certification target for its 100-seat CRJ1000 to the first quarter of the company’s next fiscal year, starting February 1, from this year’s fiscal fourth quarter, after a software glitch recently forced the company to reassess its schedules. “The problem’s been found, the software’s being rewritten, so in a sense it’s done, but as everybody knows software takes a bit of time to retest,” said Ben Boehm, Bombardier Aerospace vice president of commercial aircraft programs. Boehm told AIN that the software problem resided within the flight control system, but he declined to specify which exact equipment the glitch involved or name the manufacturer. I don’t want to get into the specifics of which part of the flight control system and which supplier,” said Boehm. “In airplanes, they’re all connected anyway. One can’t work without the other.”

Now flying two aircraft in the flight-test program, Bombardier has completed about 70 percent of the total hours needed for certification, said Boehm. Asked when Bombardier discovered the software glitch, Boehm again avoided specifics, saying only that engineers found the problem “during flight testing…earlier this year.

“And then from there, first we had to figure out what the issue actually is, and solve the problem, and now we’re in I guess what you’d call the reprogramming stage,” he said. “It’s rewriting some code.”

Meanwhile, Boehm declined to elaborate on what, if any, penalties Bombardier would have to pay to its two CRJ1000 customers–Brit Air and Air Nostrum. “That’s not something I really want to comment on,” said Boehm, who earlier noted, “We have agreed to plans with all of our customers…There are no contentious issues...”

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