Wings Magazine

Bombardier CSeries aircraft takes virtual flight

Aug. 27, 2012, Montreal - Bombardier Aerospace announced today that the company is now conducting virtual flights with "Aircraft 0" - the on-the-ground Integrated Systems Test and Certification Rig (ISTCR) for the CSeries aircraft.

August 27, 2012  By Carey Fredericks

The avionics, electrical, flight control, fly-by-wire, hydraulic, landing gear and wiring systems are now all commissioned, and systems integration and communication have been successfully demonstrated. The development of the CSeries aircraft will now enter the intense ground testing phase that will build the necessary maturity for all systems and drive towards the flight test program.

"Excitement in the development of our CSeries airliner builds weekly as the aircraft becomes more and more real," said Rob Dewar, Vice President and General Manager, CSeries, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. "The commissioning of all the systems on 'Aircraft 0' was an important milestone that has allowed us to initiate the integrated ground test phase, and to conduct virtual flights. This approach, which involves testing a complete aircraft with all main systems and software fully configured at production standard, is new for our industry. It will allow us to extensively test systems design in order to mitigate risk and provide the necessary reliability prior to the first flight. The results thus far have been to our satisfaction and some have even exceeded our expectations."

The ISTCR is one of the multiple rigs housed at the company's Complete Integrated Aircraft System Test Area (CIASTA) facility in Mirabel, Quebec, 40 km north of Montreal. The successful commissioning of all the systems on "Aircraft 0" was supported by several key CSeries aircraft partners and suppliers, including CAE, Goodrich Actuation Systems, Hamilton Sundstrand, Honeywell, Liebherr-Aerospace, Parker Hannifin, Pratt & Whitney, Rockwell Collins and Fokker Elmo along with other structural and system suppliers that delivered all the required components. Representatives from these organizations are co-located in Mirabel to work with Bombardier on system testing and integration processes.

In addition to the ISTCR, other rigs being used in the ground test phase are: the Engineering Flight Simulator (ESIM) being built by CAE and now in an advanced stage; the avionics Systems Integration Test Stand (SITS) and the Flight Controls Integration Lab (FCIL), which are already commissioned at Rockwell Collins' and Parker Hannifin's facilities respectively; and the Interior and Environmental Control Systems (ECS) rig which is also being completed at Mirabel.


"'Aircraft 0' is operating in near-real conditions since it combines production-level systems and structural components, an aerodynamic loading system and a high-fidelity flight model. Our suppliers are with us every step of the way and we continue on our drive towards the CSeries aircraft's entry-into-service in 2013," added Mr. Dewar.


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