Bombardier offered three flights today at Farnborough, and we managed to get on one of those. The ride was impressive. The aircraft used for the event was FTV5. This is a test aircraft in SWISS colors.
Seats are big and the cabin does feel wide for such a relatively small aircraft. A key issue as a passenger is the low noise expectation. We were not disappointed. The noise level at takeoff was 77 dB. That is considerably quieter than other aircraft. For the rest of the flight, we were amused as people came over to see what we were doing measuring the noise levels. Including Bombardier‘s top managers.
We found out that FTV5 does not have “production engines” and the aircraft also does not have noise fine tuning learned from the flight tests. The production aircraft are, according the Bombardier’s Rob Dewar, considerably quieter. He agreed to explain to us after the flight.
Our overall assessment is that from a passenger point of view, the aircraft will be a success. A sense of space that is unusual for a small aircraft with really big windows makes for a great flight experience. Bombardier provided clues to reinforce the sense of more light from bigger windows.
This may appear to be a small thing. But its impact is real and substantial.
Bombardier will not be flying at the show. But tomorrow SWISS will bring their own aircraft for a quick visit and do a “fly-by”.