The test programme for the upcoming Bombardier CSeries jet has taken a major knock – one that also impact other airlines – with reports that one of the Pratt and Whitney PW1500G engines suffering a “Major Engine Failure” during test according to the Wall Street Journal.
The plane involved – FTV1 was involved in ground tests when the engine on the CSeries caught fire. The Canadian Transportation Safety Board is gathering evidence about the incident, and will decide by 2nd June to conduct a full investigation.
Test flights of the CSeries have been suspended in the meantime.
The airframer states:
Bombardier confirmed that late yesterday there was an engine-related incident during stationary ground maintenance testing involving the CSeries FTV1 aircraft at its facility in Mirabel, Québec.
Bombardier is investigating the incident with the support of Pratt & Whitney and the appropriate authorities. Safety is the priority, and the CSeries aircraft flight test program will resume once the investigation is completed.
For the CSeries, it’s another setback – with deliveries due to commence in the second half of 2015. Setbacks aren’t winning customer orders – which for a new aircraft are still low with 203 aircraft firmly ordered.
Wbilst its a major setback for the CSeries which is running behind schedule, it also has major implications for the a lot of new generation aircraft that will be powered with the new Pratt and Whitney Geared Turbofan – including:
- The Airbus A320Neo family (PW powered)
- Embraer E-Jets 2
- Mitsubishi RegionalJet
- Irkut MS-21
The engine has had over 9000 hour of test time – 4000 of which were tested on the variant to be used by Bombardier.
It’s never welcome when an engine fails of any sort – but it best when development so faults can be identified and fixed. It’s just something the CSeries doesn’t need as it tries to head toward commercial service…