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Bombardier investigating CSeries engine failure

June 2, 2014, Montreal - Bombardier Inc will begin tearing down the engine of its CSeries jetliner on Sunday to investigate its failure during maintenance testing this week, an aviation journal reported, heightening the risk of delay in producing the model for market.


June 2, 2014
By Reuters

"We don't believe at this point it
(the failure) impacts entry into service," Bombardier Aerospace
President and Chief Operating Officer Guy Hachey was quoted as saying by
the Aviation Week publication.

 

But "if it lasts a long time, of course it will," he said.

 

The
new CSeries jetliner suffered an "engine-related incident" during
stationary maintenance testing on Thursday and Bombardier said on
Friday it was investigating the incident with Canadian authorities and
engine maker Pratt & Whitney.

 

Bombardier is spending billions to develop the CSeries, which will compete in the narrow-body jet market with Boeing
Co's 737 MAX as well as the Airbus A320neo. It unveiled the plane more
than a year ago to fanfare and high expectations, but has struggled with
delays and slow sales.

 

The
plane's first flight last September was more than nine months behind
schedule. In January, Bombardier pushed out the date of the CSeries'
entry into service to the second half of 2015, the same target Airbus
has for the

A320neo. The CSeries was originally due in service at the
end of 2013.

 

Hachey said "tearing down and failure analysis" on the engine would start on Sunday.

 

It
was not immediately clear whether the engine incident sprang from a
production problem that would be simple to fix, or a more serious design
flaw that could require more time and money to repair.

 

Jet
engines occasionally fail during testing, while serious problems are
rare. Pratt had to redesign a component of a similar engine last year,
when tests revealed distress in the hot core.

 

"We don’t know exactly what happened at this point in time," Hachey said.

 

“There
has been damage to the engine and the aircraft. From an aircraft
perspective we think it is very repairable. It is nothing we are too
worried about.”

 

By being
first to market with a new, fuel-efficient narrow-body plane, Bombardier
had hoped to capture significant orders, but its advantage is shrinking
with the CSeries delays.