Bombardier comes out fighting

It didn’t appear at Paris and it didn’t appear in the skies as was hoped in June, but it’s appearing on the front cover of Flight international this week (2 July).

After the latest delay to its first flight – albeit only up to one month – the CSeries remains grounded at its final assembly plant at Mirabel, near Montreal.

However, our cover story by Stephen Trimble looks at how Bombardier remains convinced its all-new aircraft can take on its rivals on two fronts.

Those two fronts look even more competitive after Paris, with sales of the re-engined Boeing 737 Max and particularly the Airbus A320neo families continuing to ramp up, and rival regional jet manufacturer Embraer getting off to a strong start with commitments for its just-announced revamp of the E-Jet family.

Also in the issue, David Learmount examines the aftermath of the 2005 Helios Airways tragedy, in which a Boeing 737 ran out of fuel and crashed into a mountain near Athens after the passengers and crew fell unconscious because the cabin remained unpressurised shortly after take-off from Cyprus. The incident led to prosecutions of airline officials and brought to the fore once again the whole issue of whether legal proceedings ought to be run in parallel with impartial accident investigations.

Dominic Perry finds out how an increase in oil exploration, often in remote locations, is driving demand for heavier, longer-range helicopters, and how this in turn is creating a thriving leasing market for this equipment. He speaks to some of the new players in this field, including Milestone and LCI.

There are also features on GE’s new GE9X engine for the Boeing 777X, and why the engine maker thinks it is onto a winner with its new, lighter ceramic matrix composite technology, and on the Boeing 737 Max: can it make up the difference in the orders race with the A320neo?

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