Bombardier announced today that their CSeries Flight Test Vehicle achieved a milestone. The announced successfully completed the first full powering on of the main electrical distribution system on the first CSeries flight test vehicle (FTV1) is one of the many significant milestones. Additionally Bombardier confirmed a wing down-bending static test was successfully concluded on the Complete Airframe Static Test (CAST) article.
An increasingly confident Bombardier is starting to transmit program messages more frequently. We, and many others, wondered about the paucity of program news. This phase seems to be ending with growing news feeds from the program as the company hits each new milestone. It would seem that we can expect even more of these news flashes as the program gets closer to first flight.
Another feature of the growing confidence should flow through to the numerous LoI holders. Bombardier has a number of customers who have kept their names private. Ostensibly to ensure the “game changing” CSeries does not telegraph the news to competitors. As the program nears first flight we expect to see more of these names made public. Even if competitors were to learn of CSeries orders now, those who face the airplane in the market will be able to do little about it. Airbus and Boeing competitive products are increasingly hard to acquire as these companies have long lead times on orders because of full backlogs.
CSeries program manager Rob Dewar is also growing more ebullient. “The powering on of the main electrical distribution system on FTV1 was one of the most exciting milestones so far in the CSeries aircraft development program and will now allow powering of all sub-systems and for the avionics suite testing. The last significant test on the CAST article – the down-bending test on the wing – was completed in late March, and we are thrilled with the analysis and feedback from the team, which allows progression to the next experimental phase. These are all important activities that will lead to the CSeries aircraft’s safety-of-flight permit. The build of the flight test vehicles, the static airframe testing and the systems tests are all advancing to schedule. We are very satisfied with the CSeries aircraft’s excellent progress and weekly achievements as we advance solidly towards first flight”.