DBEA55AED16C0C92252A6554BC1553B2 Clicky DBEA55AED16C0C92252A6554BC1553B2 Clicky
March 2, 2024
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We have our latest estimates in and the program continues to to accelerate towards its 2,400 hour goal. Based on our estimates the flight test program has passed  83% of its target.  If current monthly hours continue at 200, the program is two months from completion.

Of interest in June is that FTV2 did not add test flight hours.

FTV5 did the trip to Paris and Zurich and then back. This is a picture of the test station on FTV5 when we walked through it in Paris. DSC_4163

Meanwhile here are our updated estimates.  The last three months have seen steady increases in monthly hours.  2015-07-01_7-57-57

It is now clear how much that delay last year cost the program.  Had there been no engine problem, it could be fairly argued the program would be in certification now and reaching EIS a lot earlier.  Which would have helped the sales team big time.

But here we are.  It looks like the aircraft is doing well – it beat the brochure and is performing better than expected.  With the horizon on flight tests and certification in view, the biggest test of all looms: build the order book.  The target was 300 firm orders at EIS.  The sales team needs 57 orders over the next six months to reach that target.

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33 thoughts on “C Series Flight Test – June Update

  1. Traditionally in July there is a two-week Stand-Down at Bombardier. Production stops and everyone is on vacation for two weeks. I wonder how much this will impact flight testing this year. My understanding is that there is no rush to complete certification since the first customer is not ready to take delivery until some time next year. The Stand-Down might be a wonderful opportunity for the flight testing team to take a well deserved vacation. Anyway, congratulations to Bombardier for reaching the 2000 hour landmark on the path of the CSeries certification.

  2. Yes, the engine-related delay cost the program, but not as much as the total duration of flight test interruption. Bombardier representatives have said that the delay allowed time for the software development to catch up with the hardware.

    In the spring of 2014, there were questions about the slowing pace of flight tests, as well as the fact that flights were still being made in direct mode. This had been taken care of when flight testing resumed.

    The leeway that has appeared between now and EIS gives Bombardier time to do more definition work on the CS500, in preparation for a launch announcement at the 2016 Farnborough Air Show, along with significant firm orders from credible carriers.

  3. Farnborough is 12 months from now. I hope Bombardier will have a few good news to annonce before then. We have already been almost a year without any new order, and much longer than that for any significant order. The programme is more than two years late and that should have given them the opportunity to garner more orders, but they have not been very successful lately. On the other hand they made significant progress at PAS this year and the exceptional performances of the aircraft makes me believe that we may soon here a few good things, especially after certification next Fall. In the mean time SWISS is passing around the message that the CSeries is the best airplane to have.

  4. I wonder what critical test is left to do in flight program, such as maximum energy braking test? There is more testing needed for the CS300, when is FTV8 joining the flight test program? Very encouraging that all the major hurdles are behind and the company can concentrate on sales. Bombardier encountered many obstacles and once again raised the bar.

  5. The point should be made that Canadian securities laws prevent Bombardier from gathering bunches of prospective aircraft orders or even lesser commitments together in advance and announcing them all together at a big trade air show. By law, Bombardier must announce within one business day any material event which might affect its stock price on Canadian stock exchanges, or if such an event occurs on a weekend, then on the next business day. Of course, this wouldn’t prevent Bombardier from arranging verbally with prospective customers well in advance to sign commitments or purchase contracts at air shows, but then it runs the risk of Airbus or Boeing getting to hear about the verbally agreed deals and stepping in with lower-price offers to these prospective customers before Bombardier can sign any contracts.

  6. also, not everyone is on vacation, white and blue collars can work if BBD is asking for.

  7. In my last sentence, when I wrote “significant firm orders from credible carriers”, I meant significant firm orders “for the CS500”. Hopefully, BBD won’t launch the CS500 without these.____

    As for good news (orders from credible carriers) for the CS100 and CS300, I agree that if there hasn’t been substantial developments on that front in 12 months, the C Series program will be in serious trouble, along with its new sales team…____

    The CSeries already has its fill of orders from virtual/imaginary/future/potential/doomed airlines. La récréation est finie…

  8. Good point Christian but what I don’t understand is why this extraordinary aircraft doesn’t sell as well as it should considering its exceptional performances. To not have any order at the show is one thing, but to not have any order in more than ten months is something entirely different. Hopefully this will change in the next few months. But I am not worried, I am just a little impatient!

  9. Good questions, which were not discussed at Le Bourget. Let’s hope Rob Dewar soon comes out with a video program update. Last one was on May 12.

  10. In my view, the market is simply waiting. Airbus has sold about 50 A319neo, while Boeing has sold 60 MAX7. Something’s going on in that market segment, and I doubt it is the fact that it is vanishing. Air Canada is a good example, having firmed the MAX8 and the MAX9, but has only taken options on the MAX7. And I’m willing to bet a beer that the Cseries’ next major order will come from AC indeed.

  11. Well, I will take on your bet Robert! For I am convinced that Air Canada will not order the C Series for a long time to come. And for the simple reason that the C Series is a Canadian aircraft… We have to remember that this is the same company that did not want to commit to the Avro Jetliner at a time when Trans-Canada Airlines (Air Canada today) was a Crown corporation! Air Canada might order the C Series one day but it will be the last major airline to do so.

  12. I’m working during those weeks, so not everyone is on vacation. It won’t affect the flight test.

  13. FTV2 has not flown since May. Is it down for maintenance or is it just being prepared for a new mission?

  14. Terrible idea to take a vacation now. Everyone is engaged, focused. Weather is great. Take a day or two to enjoy the summer, but BBD is on the verge of its greatest achievement as a company, and for many on the team, of their careers. It is dangerous to go away for 3 weeks and come back sloppy and out of practice. Finish it, then enjoy.

  15. I wonder what compensation discussions BBD and Pratt are having. Chances are the A320 NEO engine has exactly the same problem. I hear there was some disagreement between BBD and Pratt about the solution and BBD demanded a more robust solution then was initially offered. Perhaps they are being proven correct with the A320 engine seal issue.

  16. It is currently undergoing scheduled downtime for an extensive upgrade (the most extensive that will be done on any FTV). You won’t see it fly again for a few more weeks. The team provisioned it for systems/avionics/electrical upgrades during the slower summer period. And the other FTVs will not get these same extensive upgrades, they’ll get the normal iterations.

  17. When you take into account ramp up, the plane is sold out for 3-4 years. There is a great deal of risk involved in selling a new plane years in advance before starting production. Just ask Boeing, who still loses about $30m on each 787 it delivers. Airbus should sue them at the WTO for dumping and demand compensation. lol

  18. When you say “finish it” I presume you mean to have it certified, correct? Anyway, when do you think this is going to happen, what month?

  19. They could be done certification testing as early as end of july but most likely end of august. How long the paperwork takes to clear is unknown. Transport Canada is already fully engaged in the process. But I think the flying hours should be no later then end of Aug.

  20. I agree with you Marko. Bombardier is indeed ‘sold-out’ for the next few years, and the only thing we need to worry about is their capability to ramp up. The worst thing that could happen to them at this stage is a flurry of orders they would not be able to deliver on time. That being said, Bombardier needs more than ever a few additional orders before EIS from another two or three well established airlines. That would silence the nay sayers for good. I would say 350 firm orders and 700 overall commitments, by the time SWISS takes delivery of the first aircraft. That is all Bombardier needs. After that the airplane will start selling like hot cakes. Hopefully BBD will have had time by then to prepare for an avalanche of orders. And if I am confident this will happen it is for two reasons: 1. The C Series is the best aircraft in its category, and by a wide margin. 2. The Dream Team has been put in place earlier this year: Alain Bellemare, Henri Courpron, Fred Cromer and Colin Bole. The only thing that is missing right now is certification of the CS100 and CS300. After that they will be able to concentrate on the CS500…

  21. It’s not generally known, but there was a major compensation package involved in the settlement between BBD and P&W regarding the engine design defect… Yes, P&W had to foot the bill for all repairs to FTV1, but they also had to send their CEO, Alain Bellemare, to Bombardier 🙂

  22. The irony here is that Bellemare lost his job at UTC for the same reason Hachey lost his at BBD: deep restructuring involving the elimination of the top management layer. Bellemare was between UTC and P&W/Sundstrand/Goodrich. Sundstrand and Goodrich merged into Aerospace Systems which now reports directly to UTC along with P&W. Hachey was in charged of Bombardier Aerospace which was broken down into three units that report directly to BBD: Business/Commercial/Aerostructures. Bombardier greatly benefits from this restructuring and I assume it’s the same for UTC. When Bombardier announced this exactly 12 months ago I thought it was a crazy idea. But I now acknowledge that it was the right thing to do. Each unit now reports directly to the CEO. For example Rob Dewar can now talk directly with Bellemare. This way the CEO can have an immediate feedback and remains constantly in the loop. Apparently this had for effect to considerably shorten the decision process, while saving the company a great deal of money.

  23. When you look at Aerospace, it was a it of a mess. The Lear 85 was troubled and sucking up a lot of money. In hindsight the Lear 85 should have been just an aluminum plane, or not attempted at all, Instead they should have been working earlier on Global 7000, where the money is. Also the money could have been better spent on Q400 or CRJ. CEO was getting filtered info. after a few disasters it was clear the CEO had to get closer. Priorities Cseries, Global 7000, CRJ and then CS500. If BBD cannot get GE to substantially fund CRJ upgrades, they should consider carefully if they want to invest more. The future for Lear is a bit muddy. BBD has so many lines that need investment.

  24. I fully agree, the Learjet 85 should have been BBD’s last priority. And aluminium would have been much less risky. It is BBD’s biggest mistake to date. It might actually be the catalyst that allowed the reorganization to take place. And like you I believe the new Globals should have been launched earlier. Now Gulfstream is running away with the market. As for the CRJ upgrade I believe the GTF engine would be Bombardier’s best option. But since it is a very big and heavy engine there might not be enough room at the back, and even if there was it might upset the balance somewhat.

  25. Just read (sept 11th 2015) that Air Canada is about to order 25 C110 to replace their E-190, and take options on the C130 to replace the A319 that are being moved to Rouge. let me know where you want to have that beer 😉

  26. Yes, I saw that earlier today. I hope it’s true. I imagine that the new team in place (Bellemare/Cromer/Bole) must have paid a visit to Air Canada to figure out what went wrong the first time around. Maybe they were told that they had to get rid of the remaining E-190s that Boeing will not take. In which case the burden would fall on BBD. It is this sort of compromise that Bombardier will have to make in order to garner new orders.

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