DUBAI 2015: airBaltic to be CS300 launch operator

Attending his first ever Dubai Air Show, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft president, Fred Cromer, announced that airBaltic has been confirmed as the launch operator of the larger member of the CSeries family, the CS300, which it will receive after certification in the second half of 2016.

airBaltic has 13 CS300s on firm order plus seven options. The arrival of these new aircraft will begin the airline’s move to operating an all-Bombardier fleet with Q400 turboprops being the other aircraft type.

Cromer also reported that flight testing of the CS100 is nearing 100% completion, adding that FTV5 has finished its work and will soon be doing demonstration flights.

Rob Dewar, vice-president, CSeries Aircraft Program, reported that are “just a few tests left to complete” and that focus has begun to switch onto ensuring a smooth entry into service (EIS) with Swiss.

Dewar added that the first function and reliability (F&R) aircraft has been rolled out. The aircraft, which has come from the actual production line rather than being a prototype, has begun a series of flights simulating commercial operations. The flights are in Canada (approximately 15 city pairs) and the US (20 city pairs) to begin with, but the aircraft will then move over to Europe.

The key highlights of recent work, according to Dewar, have been the completion of performance testing completed, during which the CS100 beat brochure performance. Smoke & high temperature (+54 deg C) tests have been done as well as icing tests. “Throughout it all, the [CS100] aircraft performed flawlessly,” Dewar commented. “Finally we the noise tests have been completed. We did hundreds of flybys and can confirm that aircraft is the quietest in its class.”

In other news from the flight test programme, Dewar confirmed that CS300 is also performing well and beating its original specifications.

Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/
Dubai, UAE

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