[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.