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Bombardier moves CSeries test flight to Kansas

cseries-ftv4-wichita-twitterSept. 22, 2014, Wichita, Kan. - Bombardier has relocated a second CSeries test aircraft to Wichita, Kansa, from Montreal to take advantage of better weather for flight testing as it works to recover from a 100-day grounding following an engine failure during ground tests.


September 22, 2014
By ATW Online

Sept. 22, 2014, Wichita, Kan. – Bombardier has relocated a second CSeries test aircraft to Wichita,
Kansa, from Montreal to take advantage of better weather for flight
testing as it works to recover from a 100-day grounding following an
engine failure during ground tests.

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

 

cseries-ftv4-wichita-twitter
Photo: ATWONLINE


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 29. FTV3 is expected to return to flight next week.

 

Bombardier resumed CSeries flight testing Sept. 7
with aircraft FTV2 and, since FTV4 rejoined the test program, has
averaged more than three hours flying a day, according to Sylvaine
Faust, a close observer of the test program at Mirabel.

 

Repairs
to FTV1’s carbon-fiber wing, 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 an interior, is to fly by year-end.

 

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

 

Using
both 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,” BFTC VP Marco Biondo said in a statement.

 

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.