Posted on: 15 June 2015 by Ross McSweeny
Both models of the Bombardier CSeries family are delivering performance figures in the flight test programme which outstrip considerably the specifications originally laid down when the programme was launched back in 2008.
CSeries programme director Rob Dewar was delighted to reveal the latest figures. “Beating brochure performance is no small feat,” he declared. “All the key items – fuel burn, aerodynamics, engine performance, payload/range capability, runway performance and noise – are much better than we originally announced.”
The maximum range of each model has been extended by 350 nm with the aircraft delivering more than a 20% fuel burn advantage compared to current production aircraft, and a greater than 10% advantage compared to the re-engined aircraft soon to enter the market. “That translates into a 15% cash-operating-cost (COC) advantage,” Dewar noted. The new capacity numbers are 125-145 for the CS100 and 133-160 for the CS300.
Dewar confirmed that six aircraft are now in the flight test programme and that the company is on track for certification of both models, the CS100 in the final quarter of this year, with the CS300 following approximately six months later.
“We have flown around 1,700 hours with the CS100s and about 300 hours on the CS300. We have finished what I call all the ‘deterministic’ and higher risk tests, so now we’re going through the validation work,” reported Dewar. “That leaves us more than 70% completed on the certification programme.”
The structural test aircraft have undergone 30,000 cycles, all completed successfully. In the wing break test, Dewar pointed out, the required deflection was reached but the wing didn’t break.
Asked if the news about the flight test results meant that Bombardier had been too conservative with the orginal numbers, Dewar candidly replied, “We’ve asked that internally. But those numbers were actually a bit of a stretch and some said we couldn’t do it. Success when we launched was not obvious and I’m very happy to be where we are now.!
Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/LARAnews.net
Le Bourget, Paris, France