Bombardier announced this morning that it has suspended flight test and delayed first delivery of its CRJ1000 aircraft "pending software updates to the rudder control-by-wire system".
The delay now places delivery to Air Nostrum between August 2010 and January 2011, representing the second half of Bombardier's 2011 fiscal year which begins on February 1, 2010.
The Canadian airframer said it has not flown the triple-stretched CRJ for flight test purposes (C-FRJX) since the second quarter of FY10 (May-July 09), but say it flew the first production model in July.
Bombardier Aerospace president and chief operating officer Guy Hachey said today that flight testing was expected to resume "after Christmas" and adds that CRJ1000 has about 30% of its flight testing regime remaining.
Bombardier announced in September that it had pushed delivery to the end of the first quarter of FY11 (by April 30, 2010) because of the initial software glitch which was first seen in July.
Air Nostrum, an arm of Spanish flag carrier Iberia, is launch customer for the type. The airline, which also operates under the name Iberia Regional and has hubs in Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona. Air Nostrum holds orders for 35 100-seat CRJ1000.
What remains unclear at this moment is the impact of the slowing CRJ production rate on this delay. Bombardier does not attribute the delay to the slowing rate, but the recent decision to slow production could slow the flow of CRJ1000 deliveries.
Bombardier commercial aircraft president, Gary Scott, says the CRJ line is currently operating on a 3-day rate, based on 20 manufacturing days per month.
Bombardier's CRJ1000 backlog consists of 49 orders.