Under perfect weather conditions Monday September 16, 2013, the Bombardier CSeries performed its maiden flight. Still years away from large scale introduction into the market, the new CS100 (100 seats) and CS300 (149 seats) will challenge the Boeings, Airbusses, Antonovs and Embraers of similar size.
The historic flight of CSeries flight test vehicle one (FTV1) – a CS100 jetliner bearing Canadian registration markings C-FBCS – was conducted under the command of Captain Charles (Chuck) Ellis, Chief Flight Test Pilot, Bombardier Flight Test Center. Capt. Ellis was assisted by his colleagues, Capt. Andris (Andy) Litavniks and Andreas Hartono in the roles of First Officer and Flight Test Engineer, respectively. The flight departed from Montréal–Mirabel International Airport at approximately 9:55 EDT and returned at approximately 12:25 EDT. The maiden flight was also the first flight for Pratt & Whitney’s new Geared Turbofan PurePower engine as part of an aircraft certification program.
,,During its maiden flight, CSeries FTV1 reached an altitude of 12,500 feet or 3,810 metres, and an air speed of 230 knots, or 426 kilometres per hour”, said Rob Dewar, Vice President and General Manager, CSeries Program, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. ,,In-flight tests included flap and landing gear retractions and extensions, in-flight manoeuvres that included a simulated landing, and early validation of the flight control system. Five years in the making, the CSeries aircraft’s first flight is the culmination of an incredible amount of hard work and dedication from our employees, partners and suppliers around the world.”
The first CSeries aircraft was greeted by more than 3,000 Bombardier employees and Board members, customers, partners and suppliers, upon its return to the company’s Mirabel, Québec facility, where the final assembly line for the CSeries aircraft program is now under construction.
A total of five CS100 flight test vehicles, all of which are currently in various stages of assembly, will join the flight test program in the coming months.
Designed for the growing 100- to 149-seat market, the 100 per cent new CSeries aircraft family is powered by Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1500G engines. Compared to similar current aircraft the CSeries aircraft family is aimed to offer a 15 per cent cash operating cost advantage and a 20 per cent fuel burn advantage. The CSeries aircraft will have a range of 2,950 nautical miles (5,463 km) and will be up to 12,000 lbs (5,443 kg) lighter than other aircraft in the same seat category.
As of today, Bombardier has a firm order for 177 CSeries, plus options on another 211 aircraft for 15 customers.