DBEA55AED16C0C92252A6554BC1553B2 Clicky DBEA55AED16C0C92252A6554BC1553B2 Clicky
May 25, 2024
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We got an update to the program test flight hours.  March was, quite simply, a fantastic month.  Every test program watcher looks for the “hockey stick” curve.  It looks like Bombardier’s CSeries test program has reached the upward part of the curve.

FTV7’s (CS300) maiden flight was over five hours.  Bombardier missed the 787-9 first flight time record by ten minutes.  FTV5 recently had a flight that lasted over seven hours.  In case you miss the point – this is about the time it would take to fly from Montreal to Paris.

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32 thoughts on “CSeries Flight Test Update

  1. Yes, and that’s great because FTV5 (CS100) has less range that the CS300 (I think, right?). Wikipedia says that the CS100 and CS300 have the same range but I had the impression that the CS300 had more range… Can anyone confirm? Anyway, yes, the point is that we have proof that the CS100 can fly transatlantic (we already knew but great to see the proof on FlightRadar24). Which means that it will be even easier for the CS300 (if it has more range than the CS100, TBD).

  2. I agree with Wikipedia that the range of CS100 and CS300 is equal.
    How should the to be announced range increase thanks to lower fuel burn of the engines be distributed?

  3. What your graph says is that the CSeries flew 300 hours this month. At that rate it would have taken 8 months to fly the required 2400 hours for certification. If they keep going like this, by next Fall they should easily be finished with flight testing. So in my mind certification remains possible for the end of the year. But from that point I have no idea how long it would take for the first production aircraft to enter service (EIS).

  4. In 2008 Bombardier announced 2950 NM for the CSeries. I did not understand at the time why an extra effort was not made to bring it past the psychological barrier of 3000 NM. But we now know that this figure will be comfortably exceeded. From what I have gathered on the Internet it might be in the vicinity of 3150 NM for both variants.

  5. With all the advanced tech, the over the top claims and hoopla touting this jet as a game changer and then along comes Airbus, with their A320 ’80s plane, straps the same type engines and some minor modifications and smokes the Cseries on orders 10:1 in one quick sweep. To add insult to injury Bombardier even lost that comfortable lead for its EIS. Personally I feel I have to call a spade a spade. Bombardier blew a lot of hot air which is usually what the mediocre do and also I think their ship is mounted by many bumblers. Ensigns where admirals should be.

  6. You are not comparing the CSeries to the A320neo. Rather you are comparing Bombardier to Airbus. On paper the CSeries compares favourably to the A320neo even if they are not exactly in the same category. It would be more appropriate to compare the CSeries to the A319neo where Airbus failed until now to impress the buyers.

    But Airbus and Bombardier do not belong to the same class of companies. Airbus is a well established titan, like Boeing. Bombardier still belongs to the minor leagues. It is unjust to compare the two companies. And it it is even more unjust to rate the CSeries by the quantity of aircraft sold for a given period of time. At this stage the original A320 actually had less sales than the CSeries. Considering that Bombardier has an inferior status today than Airbus had in 1988 it speaks volumes for the technical achievement of the CSeries.

  7. @Carol Webster. You are comparing grapefruits, oranges and tangerines. CSeries fit in the tangerine category. Airbus sells the A319Neo in the tangerine category. The CSeries outsells the A319Neo 243:47, i.e. over 5:1. Mediocre people make fallacious comparisons and do not check the numbers before making a statement.

  8. This is a mixed fruit salad. Oranges, bananas, grapes, its all the same to me. Sure they’re outselling the 319 but who cares. This is a market segment that never took off anyways. Why Bombardier thought they would change that outcome would be wishful thinking, an error in judgment, miscalculation of market forecast, or just plain arrogance. I don’t need to read the press numbers. My sources are more direct and closer to the cow. If this plane was as phenomenal as the BBD spin doctors played it the order book would be at least three times as big given the time frame. Even Embraer with a variant moped the floor with them. Its OK. They have a good safety net….the Canadian taxpayer.

  9. For someone who catapults Bombardier and their product to a larger than life status you now give them a protective shield from the truth. I like to look at the world in true colors and shapes. Nothing imaginary, no its or maybes. I look at the concrete reality: market interest and order backlog. Bombardier rode on the success of the CRJ for too long. By comparison their immediate competitor, Embraer leapfrogged them in their regional jets, their Ejets and now it looks like the E2 might be a hit in less than two decades and judging by their success with their biz jets, Bombardier better get their act together.

  10. Despite the naysayers, it’s waaayyyy too early to call the game. Do you know baseball, “Carol”? This is still in the first inning.

    Let’s come back here 10 years from now and count how many CSeries 100/300/500, A319neo and E2 190/195 have been sold and delivered.

    My bet is that both Embraer and Bombardier will be making a good business out of their offerings.

  11. I know I have said it before, but I feel the need to say it again: Thank you AirInsight for keeping us up-to-date on the evolution of the CSeries flight test programme. You are doing a fan-tastic job!

  12. I like to view Bombardier and Embraer as a duopoly in the making. When speaking of the Big Two’s duopoly we often refer to A&B. In the same vein, we might eventually start talking about the Small Two’s duopoly and refer to it as B&E. 🙂

  13. Bombardier is fighting two giants but still, is outselling A & B in the 110-160 seats. Airbus is threatened by the CS300 and will do anything like making the A319NEO with 160 seats, cutting prizes just to get a customer away from BBD. The 737-7 and A319NEO are much heavier and will never be has fuel efficient has the 300.

  14. Numbers,numbers numbers. You give me tech stats which are fine, not fine enough for the customer interest. I look at the market interest which isn’t there. You know the saying: actions speak louder than words. That’s something you guys and the fellows at Bombardier will have to accept.

  15. You sound like you’re very loyal to the brand. Are you by any chance an employee? You seem to have an over the top optimism when numerous others who make a difference like analysts and buyers see reality as it is. Personally I don’t knock the product, just the choice, strategy and timing and I think iff Bombardier would have replaced the CRJ with their Ejet offering things would have been different. Management chose poorly.

  16. The concrete reality dominating the market interest and backlog is that the A320, 737, and E-Jets are all well-established products. The customers know their current performance, and thus, have a very good idea what the performance of the re-engined variants will be.

    Bombardier can offer them less history, both because their product is a clean-sheet design, and because as the current consolidated company, they’ve never developed a completely new aircraft. Thus, no one should be surprised that orders are slow, nor that they’ve made nearly as many mistakes as Airbus did on the A380 and Boeing did on the 787. Actually, from that standpoint, Bombardier comes out looking better, except for the fact that they have limited capital to invest in recovering from their mistakes.

    But yes, Bombardier needs to get their act together, and having committed so many resources to the CSeries, and being unable to confidently rely on CRJ and Q-series in the long run, getting the CSeries into service and making it a success is pretty much their only option right now.

    Making it a success doesn’t just mean meeting fuel burn and ramping up deliveries. They need to support it aggressively to minimize customer downtime and engineer improvements to any systems that fall short of reliability goals. They’ll also have to transition to regular production as efficiently as possible, or else they won’t be able to sell the plane profitably.

    If they can do this, I still believe they can find a reasonably-sized market for the CSeries, especially if they add a CS500 later on. By “reasonably-sized,” I mean that if the 737 and A320 outsell the CSeries by a combined 10:1 ratio over the next 20 years, then Bombardier will have a right to be proud. That would be the most successful program in Bombardier’s history, and on par with the E-Jets.

    I think the suggestion to go head-to-head with the E-Jets with a 4-accross, 80-120 seat family would have been a poor decision. The E-Jets are a modern enough aircraft that Bombardier could have achieved only very small advantages at best over what the E2 will offer. Their pre-EIS sales would look even worse, offering a product nearly identical to the competition without the established service history.

  17. If they maintained 300 hours per month from here on out, they’d hit 2400 in mid-July. I suspect more realistically, the average will be lower than this month’s high numbers as Bombardier addresses specific certification requirements. Also, I’m not sure CS300 tests count towards CS100 certification, especially since most of the flying the CS300 is doing right now is probably repeats of tests the CS100’s already did.

    Still, I’m starting to become confident in a previous estimate I made that certification would be achieved by October, and even hold out hope for September. At the same time, I remain skeptical that first delivery will occur before the end of the year. There always seems to be several months between certification and first delivery, and the schedule slips have reportedly wrecked havoc on Bombardier’s production planning, which might slow down final completion and checkout of the first customer airframe.

  18. The CS300 tests do not count for the CS100, but many of the CS100 will be credited for the certification of the CS300. So there is no repeat as you suggest. Almost everything the CS300 is testing is specific to the CS300. And anything common between the two will be certified by the CS100 for both variants. But it does not really work the other way around, except possibly for minor things. In other words it is possible that the CS300 might give a hand to the CS100, but not to a great extent. The commonality between the two variants is extremely high. This explains why five FTVs are required for certification of the CS100 and only two for the CS300.

  19. FTV8 (CS300) is configured with a full cabin just like FTV5 (CS100). If I recall correctly it is here that the CS300 will be most helpful to the CS100 certification as some of the tests of cabin systems on FTV8 will be credited to FTV5 (or the CS100) whenever they are identical systems.

  20. As per the video posted on CSeries.com on April 8th, FTV5 appears to be able to fly for 9.5 hours.

  21. As I’ve said many times before, the plane itself is not the problem. It is by far the best market offering, no argument there. The program strategy is the failure. Going up against the duopoly with no weapons is like Richard Aboulafia said: bringing a crème brulé torch to a flame thrower fight. ( that guy slays me). They should have leapfrogged Embraer even if they had to purchase the DO 728 when it was in their hands. They relied on the CRJ instead of giving the market what it was looking for, something new. There are other factors too which I won’t get into but the program strategy is the main reason in my opinion.

  22. Ok, it’s clear now: you’re one of those Canadian who cannot stand Bombardier’s success. The fact that you have an axe to grind against Bombarider does not entitle you to your facts. And facts are, contrary to what you mentionned, that the 100-130 pax segment is huge: over 1500 318 and 319; over 1300 736 and 73N. That’s a (nearly) 3000 planes market segment. So much for “a market segment that never took off”… Brother…

  23. Its also clear to me that you’re either a native Quebecer, a loyal employee, a company shill, a shareholder or all of the above. As a former employee, I saw firsthand the method of operations from within. The management or should I say mismanagement shed a new light on this Canadian darling and let me tell you also as a former investor I shed my confidence and shares faster than the A320Neo sales. As long as the different levels of government are wrapped around their finger and the heaps and mounds of taxpayers money is poured into this albatross, it will be business as usual. You can continue stating your convictions and I’ll do likewise. Only time will tell who is right.

  24. On the other hand, Boeing 737MAX has a significant excess fuel burn.
    What was the originally promised range for Boeing 737-7MAX, and what is the expected actual range? Especially, how does the expected range of Boeing 737-7MAX, including the range shortfall, compare against the expected range of CS300, including the range excess?

  25. We might have to wait for the Paris Air Show to find the answers. That is when Bombardier is scheduled to reveal the most recent performance figures. We should find out then what the hard numbers gathered during the CSeries flight test campaign really look like.

  26. Well, as a former employee, you sound bitter and your opinion may be off. You sound very frustrated. Actually, you repeat Airbus and Boeing’s statements on Bombardier. If they feel the urge to puke on Bombardier, that means to me that they see a threat in the CSeries. That being said, Bombardier has not won its place yet in the CSeries segment. The company did what it had to do in the first place: build a great plane. I feel pretty confident in the new direction team for the next step.

  27. BOMBARDIER comment.

    For some time I’ve followed the stories here about the Cseries and have read the comments made by the same BBD lickspittles over and over how superior this product is and how brilliantly the company operates. I worked at Bombardier for over a decade and believe me your visions of this company greatly contrast to what I’ve experienced firsthand. There are several reasons why they are taking a beating but I don’t want to get into that.
    The product here as excellent as it may be, is secondary. Everyone has a good product suited for specific market sectors. It’s the creation and execution of the program and timing that counts. Embraer, contrary to Bombardier’s employee brainwashed mindset, created products that outpace and outsell Bombardier. Statistics such as economics and range are one thing but if you can’t translate those figures into firm orders and market enthusiasm you have nothing but numbers on paper. The Cseries has been put forward to the market and the market has responded with a lukewarm response but miracles do happen.

  28. Like stated earlier when comparing the cseries to A&B you must take into consideration historic evidence. Total orders before EIS of new aircraft types. The cseries stacks up very well with new aircraft types, with over 600 orders and commitments. For what are friend is saying about poor market reception and analyst views on the programs failed success is quite premature in my opinion. Looking at other aircraft programs like the CRJ, 320, 737or 767, there are very few initial orders before EIS. Can we draw a conclusion that the programs we’re failures? I think not. The only exception to a low pre EIS order count is the 787 dreamliner. It was sold as revolutionary. Everybody was anticipating its great success. The program then was delayed and delayed. Not withstanding its technical issues while flight testing. An engine had an uncontained failure taxiing to takeoff. When it finally reached EIS serious problems arose with its heavy use of lithium Ion batteries, driving its systems on the ground. So when you say a mild market reception i just think you should be framing it as a logical risk assessment by big airlines and financing companies. I call it the “dreamliner” effect. Why would a mainline carrier risk its reputation and billions of dollars on an un-mature aircraft. I think its just a reversion to how airlines use to buy new aircraft. Wait till it has proven its reliability.

    I agree that management have a big role in its lacklustre execution of the program. They should stop lying to themselves and give themselves realistic goals and more importantly stop making promises to shareholders. This is not an easy business. Flight testing a prototype aircraft results in a lot of unforeseen problems which takes a lot of troubleshooting and work to get a reliable end product. Thus, timelines shift its part of the game in aviation. Would you rather be on time and have 85% reliable aircraft or do it right. I think everybody should take a deep breath and stop criticizing and dragging this dark cloud over the company.

    As I recall there are no taxpayer money going into there public issue of stock. I think you should look at all the other aviation companies and tell me they have not been propped up by tax payer money. Maybe we haven’t supported them enough, in comparison with Embraer lets say.

    They are most probably going to sell off or merge the transport arm. If gone through with, it will put them in a way better financial position. Opening the door to reinvest in there commercial and business jet aircraft which have been challenged and in some cases overtaken by there competitors technology wise. I believe there is a future ahead lets see what happens.

  29. Quite a positive analysis and yes, Embraer as a lot of support from their country, Bombardier is taking the right step by replacing and bringing experience to match this great product to customers. This is the winds of change to lift the CSeries to a new height.

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