Bombardier has reaffirmed its intention to achieve the first flight of its new CSeries airliner next month, with complete airframe static tests (CAST) on track to establish that flight testing can commence safely.
At a May 6 press conference on the first morning of the RAA Convention in Montreal, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft marketing vice president Philippe Poutissou said its engineers are preparing to hand over the first aircraft to the flight-test team in time to achieve the first flight in June. Meanwhile, a team of Bombardier pilots have been preparing for the flight-test program using an engineering simulator to practice procedures such as high-speed taxiing.
The first test aircraft (FTV1) has moved out of the assembly hall at the Montreal Mirabel site to the flight-test hall to undergo functional testing on its various systems. Bombardier has hung the engines from FTV2 and is now installing systems, while it mates FTV3’s wings to the fuselage; the FTV4 fuselage is mainly complete and assembly of FTV5 has just started. By the end of 2013, Bombardier expects to have five aircraft in the flight-test program as part of an ambitious plan to go from first flight to entry into service little more than 12 months.
Today, executives from Porter Airlines met with Toronto city officials as part of a campaign to persuade them to relax restrictions on jet movements at the downtown Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. This is a requirement of Porter’s purchase agreement for 12 CS100s and options another 18 aircraft.