[UPDATE – Chart & Dates fixed] April seems to have been a slower month overall, with approximately 176 flight hours compared to March’s 294. As of April month end, the program is about 64% of 2,400 hour target. The various FTVs are doing different tests and based at various places, so looking at each aircraft is not helpful. But it is interesting that FTV5 didn’t fly last month – perhaps being prepared for quelque chose?
Bombardier has spoken about a target 160 flight hours per month, so April is back to that target rate. However, at an average of 200 flight hours/month we estimate the program could achieve 2,400 hours by mid-September. As we saw in March, they nearly got to 300 hours. So an acceleration above 200 monthly flight hours should be easy. Its not clear why there was a slowdown last month after March’s blowout effort. After all, one would expect a lot of pressure to catch up lost time from the three months missed flights last year. If the program accelerates again, as it might, we could see 2,400 hours before September.
When you say March you mean April, don’t you? And when you say February you mean March, right? Time flies, doesn’t it!
For some reason, march has been the worst month in the last six months. It should be the other way around since we are now in Spring. Something does not add up.
Perhaps they had so much data to process and validate from the previous month that they decided to slow down flight test in order to confirm latest results, 290 hrs of flight hours may have been to much for the Bomber. Flight test is picking up pace in the last few days.
My observations with flightradar24
CSeries April 2015: FTV1: 11 flights, 23h30; FTV2: 16 flights, 45h41; FTV3: 11 flights, 22h35; FTV4: 14 flights, 28h27; FTV7: 13 flights, 31h19. Total of the month: 65 flights ; 154h32
11,16,11,14,13: they are all very close to each other. Except FTV-5. In a sense this is reassuring. If they all fly more or less the same number of hours it means there is no big issue. As for FTV-5 I like the suggestion made by Addison that the airplane is being prepared for PAS, which is coming fast (1 1/2 month).
Each program has its own unique hardware and software problems to be found and fixed. Some systems get all the problems fixed quickly. Other systems require more cycles of fly-fix-fly than predicted. The various systems must receive the correct hardware and software fixes before final certification testing on that system can start. There is nothing magic about 2400 hours. It is simply a prediction, based on past programs. This program may require fewer than 2400 hours, or maybe it will need more than 2400 hours. No one knows at this point.
The chart doesn’t seem quite right. 176 hrs in April should be higher than 150ish hrs in Jan/Feb.
EIS May 2016
I looked at it again and I think you’re right. The original has the right data but is not displaying it right. So I created a fresh one and this looks better. Thanks for spotting this Felix.
Yes but you have not made the correction in the main text as I had suggested in my initial post. Perhaps you did not read my post. You wrote “March seems to have been a slower month overall, with approximately 176 flight hours compared to February’s 294.” “March” should read April, and “February” should read March. In other words it is April that has been the slower month, not March. Also, it was March that logged 294 hours, not February.
Oops! Thanks, fixed.
Almost there… 😉
The first sentence still reads: March seems to have been a slower month overall, with approximately 176 flight hours compared to March’s 294.
March… compared to … March…
He actually succeeded in confusing me as well. For in my initial post I wrote “March has been the worst month in the last six months. It should be the other way around since we are now in Spring.” Of course I meant April, not March. But that does not explain why the best month for the weather in the last six months should be the worst in terms of hours flown. Of course if FTV5 is being worked on in preparation for PAS it would bring the number of hours down. But that is not enough to explain such a dramatic drop at this time of the year.
Yes, there must be something else. There is not that much to do to prepare FTV5 for le Bourget, as it has a finished interior and is quite presentable on the outside.
Let’s not forget that the P&W GTF engines are still running with a temporary fix.
Like you I had the GTF engine in mind. This would explain why the entire fleet is humming instead of buzzing. I also heard they had an incident while testing the engine for in-flight restart.