Bombardier Aerospace has started conducting so-called virtual flights with CSeries “Aircraft 0”—the on-the-ground Integrated Systems Test and Certification Rig (ISTCR) based in Mirabel, Quebec, the company announced today. The manufacturer has now commissioned the avionics, electrical, flight control, fly-by-wire, hydraulic, landing gear and wiring systems, and has demonstrated systems integration and communication. The milestone marks the start of CSeries ground testing.
“Excitement in the development of our CSeries airliner builds weekly as the aircraft becomes more and more real,” said Rob Dewar, CSeries program vice president and general manager. “The commissioning of all the systems on Aircraft 0 was an important milestone that has allowed us to initiate the integrated ground-test phase, and to conduct virtual flights. This approach, which involves testing a complete aircraft with all main systems and software fully configured at production standard, is new for our industry. It will allow us to test systems design extensively to mitigate risk and provide the necessary reliability prior to the first flight. The results thus far have been to our satisfaction and some have even exceeded our expectations.”
One of several test rigs housed at the company's Complete Integrated Aircraft System Test Area (Ciasta) in Mirabel, Quebec, the ISTCR operates in near-real conditions because it combines production-level systems and structural components, an aerodynamic loading system and a high-fidelity flight model, added Dewar. Representatives from suppliers CAE, Goodrich Actuation Systems, Hamilton Sundstrand, Honeywell, Liebherr-Aerospace, Parker Hannifin, Pratt & Whitney, Rockwell Collins and Fokker Elmo work in Mirabel with Bombardier on system testing and integration processes.
Other CSeries ground-test rigs located in Mirabel include the Engineering Flight Simulator (ESIM), now in an advanced stage of construction by CAE, and the Interior and Environmental Control Systems (ECS) device, also nearing completion. Rockwell Collins and Parker Hannifin have already commissioned the avionics Systems Integration Test Stand (Sits) and the Flight Controls Integration Lab, respectively, at their own facilities.
“Our suppliers are with us every step of the way and we continue on our drive toward the CSeries' entering service next year,” concluded Dewar.