According to Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, its new CS100 narrow-body jet has completed over 2,250 flight test hours, over 80% of what is required to gain certification for commercial service. The Canadian jet builder maintained the new aircraft is on track to achieve that certification later this year.
Bombardier’s president Fred Cromer said that Lufthansa Group’s Swiss, the first CS100 operator, would put the jet into service in the first half of 2016.
The CSeries is a family of narrow-body, twin-engine, medium-range jets, developed for the single-aisle aircraft market dominated by the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 series. Other entries are Comac’s C919 and Embraer’s 190 series aircraft. The CS100 is a 110-seat model, and the CS300 is slightly larger with 135 seats. Bombardier has stated the CSeries aircraft will offer “the best seat-mile cost in its category,” making it attractive for short-haul as well as transcontinental routes.
Earlier Bombardier confirmed that the C Series aircraft's maximum range is up to 3,300 NM (6,112 km), or 350 NM (648 km) more than originally targeted. The jets are delivering more than a 20% fuel-burn advantage compared to in-production aircraft, the OEM stated, and a greater than 10% advantage compared to “future re-engined aircraft.”
Currently, the two CSeries models are undergoing noise performance testing, which the OEM said it expects will be completed successful, “making it the quietest commercial jet in production.”
The CSeries jets will be built at Bombardier’s assembly operations at Mirabel Airport, Montreal. Among the major suppliers are Pratt & Whitney, which contributes its PW1500G geared-turbofan engines; Shenyang Aircraft (fuselage); Alenia Aeronautica (composite horizontal and vertical stabilizers); Fokker Elmo (wiring, interconnection systems); C&D Zodiac (interiors); Parker Hannifin (flight control, fuel and hydraulics systems); Liebherr-Aerospace (air management system); Goodrich (flap and slat actuation systems and engine nacelles); and Rockwell Collins (avionics.)
Bombardier reportedly has orders and commitments for 603 CSeries aircraft, including 243 firm orders.
"The summer months are proving very productive for the C Series aircraft as the flight test program continues to make solid progress - even setting a record with six test aircraft flying on the same day, logging in excess of a combined 20 hours," according to Cromer. "Passengers also flew onboard the CS100 for the first time as part of the cabin testing program and their feedback was very complimentary."