Flight Test Updates

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Here is the latest data from each of the three flight test programs through March.

2014-04-01_10-46-02The A350 program continues apace.   Though the rate of flight hour accumulation seems to have slowed.  MSN001 is less busy than it once was.  MSN002 is busy again, while MSN003 also seems to have tailed off in activity.

2014-04-01_10-31-41The 787-9 flight test program accelerated again.  All three test vehicles were busy last month and a sharp rise in total hours reflects this.

2014-04-01_10-33-45The start of a hockey stick? It is Canada after all.  Bombardier’s fleet was busy last month building hours.  It seems the move to Wichita for test flights helped accelerate the program. But they need to hustle.

2014-04-01_10-36-25When seeing the three programs in a timeline, we can see the Airbus and Boeing programs running well in terms of flight hour accumulation.  Bombardier’s program looks slow, even though March was far better than previous months.

2014-04-01_10-38-37In summary, we continue to expect to see an early EIS on the A350; late summer looks within reach.  Boeing’s program, being a derivative, is expected to be running well.  The 787-9 EIS looks on schedule based on the data.  The CSeries program saw better numbers for March, but the program needs a boost of more test vehicles and faster flight hour accumulation.  Bombardier sounded confident at ISTAT that it will meet its revised schedule.

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7 comments on “Flight Test Updates
  1. Tim Empson says:

    You state the A350 MSN1 is accumulating hours less quickly. this is because it was down for 6 weeks (February through into March) to switch from Li-Ion batteries to NiCad batteries for certification.

  2. Normand Hamel says:

    Many of us already had an intuitive grasp of this, but to see it so well illustrated in graphical form really brings home the harsh reality that the CSeries flight test programme is indeed struggling.

  3. xwb says:

    “Though the rate of flight hour accumulation seems to have slowed.”

    On the contrary, the A350 program logged 280 hours in March, the highest ever.

    See http://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0AlVgPnmHLOovdFdzbVlyQzhYNDhCb1VFN1RkYXkwV3c&gid=6

  4. Victor Lapenti says:

    If I didn’t know better I would think the CSeries is cursed.

  5. BernardP says:

    The CSeries is the first mainliner aircraft for Bombardier. It’s an all-new design featuring a lot of new technology. The slow growth of flight hours is not only related to the aircraft itself, but also to Bombardier’s whole aerospace division.

    In a way, the CSeries is Bombardier’s training camp tryout for the Major Leagues.

  6. Smokerr says:

    I think the CSeries is the major leagues. Like any new team, they are getting smacked around.

    I think they will recover and I think the C will be a major success. The operators who will fly that segment ain’t the big international carriers and won’t commit until they know they will get a product that works, they live and die on the success of their ops and decisions. The big boys can make one mistake after another and go on, not the short and mid range operators.

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