Progress is being made on both the Airbus A350 and Bombardier CSeries, each of which are scheduled for first flights in June.
Airbus has installed the Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines and Honeywell APU on its first A350 this week on MSN0001, its first flight test vehicle. It should soon be ready for power-on and initial ground testing.
Bombardier has completed wing static testing, after previously testing a 3/4 scale version, clearing a potential certification hurdle. With the engines already installed on FTV001 at the March 7th rollout, Bombardier has now achieved power-on for initial ground testing prior to first flight.
Right now, it is hard to give either airplane an advantage in the race to first flight. They are neck and neck coming into the home stretch! While it is not a race, both companies realize the there will be significant positive press from being first to fly, and each are pushing the schedule to the degree possible.
Of course, this is the stage at which the “unknown unknowns” begin to emerge, but to date, both programs, despite earlier delays, appear to be avoiding the lengthy problems that were experienced by A380 and 787. Hopefully, progress will continue smoothly and we will see an on current schedule EIS for both airplanes.