At last, it’s aloft. As our Comment reflects in this week’s issue of Flight International (24 September), the first flight of an all-new aircraft is still an incredibly important and symbolic event. And for the Bombardier CSeries, after so many delays to its maiden flight, actually getting the narrowbody into the air was a huge monkey off the Canadian company’s back.
In hard commercial terms, the debut changes little. But the data provided by the 2,500h test programme could be enough to persuade some airlines to sign on the line. That’s according to Bombardier chief executive Pierre Beaudoin anyway. With just 177 orders so far for the single-aisle aircraft, he needs them.
Our Stephen Trimble was in Mirabel, Quebec to witness the first flight and we have a three-page report on what happened on the day and what happens now, with a programme timeline, market analysis and news on the engine development and the supply chain challenges now facing the airframer.
Elsewhere in the issue our Aerospace Top 100 – compiled with PwC – ranks the world’s biggest aerospace companies by turnover and profit. You can read it here by registering for the FG Club www.flightglobal.com/top100
And Michael Gubisch is behind a package on MRO in Europe, which has a distinctly British flavour. He looks in detail at the strategy of BA Engineering, Monarch Airlines and KLM UK Engineering among others, as well as what BAE Systems Regional Aircraft and GE’s UK facilities are doing to boost their maintenance offering. He also has a piece about the push to reduce the safety risk in MRO.