The ambition of Canadian aerospace manufacturer Bombardier to take market share from Boeing and Airbus took a step forward Monday September 16 when its CSeries aircraft lifted off for its first flight. (See video below)
The maiden flight marks the start of the CSeries aircraft’s flight test program leading up to the first customer delivery, and was also the first flight for Pratt & Whitney’s new Geared Turbofan PurePower engine as part of an aircraft certification program.
The historic flight of CSeries flight test vehicle one (FTV1) – a CS100 – was conducted under the command of Captain Charles Ellis, Chief Flight Test Pilot, Bombardier Flight Test Center.
Captain Ellis was assisted by his colleagues, Captain Andris 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 performance of the CSeries aircraft was very impressive. We couldn’t have wished for a better maiden flight,” said Captain Ellis.
“FTV1’s state-of-the-art flight deck was responsive and comfortable, and the aircraft handled exactly as expected. Overall, we had a very productive first flight and an excellent start to the flight test program,” said Mr Ellis.
“This is a very proud day for Bombardier and a true validation of the CSeries aircraft’s design and development, and of our extensive ground test program,” said Rob Dewar, Vice President and General Manager, CSeries Program, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.
“During its maiden flight, CSeries FTV1 reached an altitude of 12,500 feet (3,810 metres) and an air speed of 230 knots (426 km/h). 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,”added Mr Dewar.
Additionally, we’re also delighted that many of our guests commented on the impressive and quiet performance during takeoff and landing.”
Mike Arcamone, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft said “the patience, care and quality that has gone into the CSeries aircraft’s development program shone through today as we celebrate this milestone achievement of the first all-new, single-aisle aircraft that will revolutionize the 100- to 149-seat commercial aircraft market – with its outstanding economics, reduced environmental footprint and exceptional flying experience.”
A total of five CS100 flight test aircraft, all of which are currently in various stages of assembly, will join the flight test program in the coming months.
The all new CSeries, which seats between 100 to 149 passengers depending on model is pitched at regional operations and promises to burn up to 20 per cent less fuel than the aircraft it will replace.
Bombardier has won 177 firm orders and 211 commitments from 15 customers for the CSeries.
The big selling point for the CSeries is its revolutionary Pratt and Whitney engine which is extremely fuel efficient and quiet.
And the quietness of the engine came across at the first flight which was slightly ahead of schedule and many were caught unaware because of the low noise level.
According to Rob Dewar, VP and GM of the CSeries program “some spectators actually missed the beginning of the flight.”
The CSeries 100 will enter service later next year.