Bombardier CSeries First Flight: Pushed back a month

As the Airbus A350-900 has taken flight (multiple times now), it’s time to turn our attention back to the other brand new plane in the world – the Bombardier CSeries.

FTV-1 sitting at Mirabel Airport. Image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:CS100-FTV1.jpgImage Alexandre Gouger

The first flight of the first aircraft – FTV1 was due to be “towards the end of this month”. Those of you with calendars to hand will note the end of the month.

Well it seems that Bombardier have pushed back a month, with the first flight of FTV1 – a CS-100 aircraft will be by the end of July.

In order to enhance the effectiveness of the flight program, Bombardier extended the timeline slightly to allow for additional software upgrades for improved system maturity and functionality.”

This one month delay builds on the current delay of 6 months which was put down to late deliveries of parts by suppliers. In the meantime, Bombardier will continue preparations for the plane to take flight.

For Bombardier, there is a lot riding on the CSeries – with the aircraft attempting to fill the 110-130 seater market – for those airlines where a regional jet is too small, yet A319/B737-700 is too big.

Whilst the order book stands at 179 CSeries aircraft – it pales into the orders of the Embraer E-Jet-E2 series which had 100 orders, plus commitments for 229 more aircraft on the first day of the Paris Air Show.  In addition, the only orders of the CSeries announced at Farnborough was that of the UK start-up Odyssey Airlines – which had been on the books for some time.

Will the first flight kick-start airlines into buying the CSeries? It depends – if the price is right and its the right fit for a fleet, it could be a possibility – especially if Embraer’s waiting list is full….

And with this delay, dread the thought Bombardier might go out and paint their new plane…