Posted on: 19 July 2010 by Ross McSweeny
Bombardier Commercial Aircraft president Gary Scott remains optimistic for the long-term success of the CSeries family and declared on the first day of Farnborough 2010 that the aircraft is “going to meet or beat all the things we said at the very beginning”.
Scott added that the programme is on track for its entry into service date of 2013. And though he had no order to announce on the first day of the show, he confirmed his belief in the market for the aircraft despite the economic downturn. “Well this is my 5th cycle, but we’re looking to come out of it now. I think it will be helped by better results in 2Q10 and particularly 3Q10 from the airlines. Then 2011-12 is when the rising tide will lift all ships,” he quipped.
Rob Dewar, vice-president on the CSeries programme, explained that its current state of development is that the Joint Definition Phase (JDP) is coming to a close by the end of July and moving into the detailed design phase (DDP). “The engine is also on track. A major milestone will see the first CSeries engine go to test later this summer.”
Colin Elliott, VP engineering & business development, Bombardier Belfast, declared that “everything is in place and on track in Belfast”, where the key responsibility is for the wing (pictured). “We’re using our resin transfer infusion process for the torque box – a truly innovative part of the wing.
The wing demonstrator, fully representative of the aircraft’s final wing, was taken from its jig in January for testing. It has been taken to its ultimate load target – 50% higher than any expected load it might encounter in service (4ft down deflection, 8 ft upward).
Ben Boehm, vice-president commercial aircraft programmes, noted that the CSeries always aimed to give 15% better operating costs than its competitors. “Currently, the CS100 is giving 16% better than competing aircraft, while the CS300 is giving around 18%. Moreover, the CS300 will be able to provide the same per-seat cost as aircraft in the next segment up, while reducing trip cost by 31%,” he revealed. “Basically the CSeries will give 2020 technology in 2013.”
Asked who woudl actually take the first CS100 in 2013 – since Lufthansa/Swiss is planning to take its first aircraft in 2014 – Scott remarked, “We still have to tie a name to the very first aircraft.”
On the subject of a potential stretched version, Scott played down the idea. “What makes this [aircraft family] so good is that it’s optimised for this segment. So for us to try to move this platform up to a larger segment would make it less optimised. And there’s plenty of business in the 100-149 seat segment – 6,000 aircraft, of which we’d be happy to get half.”
Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/LARAnews.net