Bombardier sends another CSeries to Kansas in bid to recover lost testing time

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP September 22, 2014 14:50

Bombardier sends another CSeries to Kansas in bid to recover lost testing time

Bombardier has reported it has relocated a second CSeries prototype to Wichita, Kansas, to take advantage of better weather for flight testing as it works to recover from the 100-day grounding following an engine failure during ground tests.

Test aircraft FTV4 joined FTV3 at the Bombardier Flight Test Center (BFTC) in Wichita on September 18th, after returning to flight on September 15th following the installation of the Pratt & Whitney PW1500G geared turbofans with a modified lubrication system.

FTV3 has been based at Wichita for avionics testing since shortly after it first flew in March, but has been grounded since the uncontained engine failure on FTV1 in Mirabel, near Montreal, on May 29th. FTV3 is expected to return to flight next week.

Bombardier resumed CSeries flight testing on September 7th with aircraft FTV2 and, since FTV4 rejoined the test program, has averaged more than three hours flying a day. Repairs to FTV1’s carbon-fibre wing that was damaged in the engine incident, are being finalized and the aircraft will return to flight after FTV3, the manufacturer has said. FTV5, the final CS100 test aircraft and first with a representative cabin interior, is to fly by year-end.

FTV4 is the production-painted performance test aircraft. Basing the aircraft in Wichita will help avoid the weather-related delays that slowed the startup of CSeries testing after its delayed first flight from Mirabel in September last year.

BFTC VP Marco Biondo said that using both test sites “will help optimize resources needed for the overall certification campaign [and] allow us to improve productivity on each aircraft for efficient completion of the required testing, all in accordance with the schedule,”

Bombardier still has more than 2,000 flight hours to complete for certification of the initial 110-seat CS100 variant of the CSeries. The company says entry into service is still planned for the second half of 2015, but several financial analysts are predicting a slip well into 2016.

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP September 22, 2014 14:50