Bombardier’s two CSeries flight test vehicles (FTV) flew simultaneously for the first time on 8 January, one day after an analyst predicted the aircraft’s entry into service will be further delayed until the second quarter of 2015.
The company says dual flights will be increasingly common as the flight test programme progresses, adding that the third test vehicle will join the lineup in the “coming months.”
But despite signs of the test programme is accelerating, Canadian financial company National Bank Financial released a report 7 January predicting the aircraft’s entry into service will slip from the first to the second quarter of 2015.
“The testing will undoubtedly accelerate and Bombardier is doing more ground-based testing than other new aircraft programs, but based on the very slow pace so far, even [the first quarter of 2015]... is looking optimistic,” says National Bank’s paper, written by analyst Cameron Doerksen.
Bombardier has said flight testing would take roughly one year following the first flight, which occurred 16 September.
The company also officially remains committed to deliver the first CS100 to launch customer Malmo Aviation roughly 12 months after that flight.
Bombardier has not revealed how many flight test hours have been accumulated so far, saying only that the company has conducted 200 hours of combined ground and flight tests.
National Bank’s research note estimates the two test aircraft have logged less than 50 total flight hours, roughly 2% of the 2,400 hours the company has scheduled to meet Transport Canada airworthiness certification.
The research note adds that as Bombardier logs more flight hours it will be able to share more flight data with prospective customers, which could generate additional CSeries orders.