Bombardier begins CSeries system tests, simulations

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Bombardier has commenced systems tests and simulations for its CSeries aircraft using a systems integration rig at its Mirabel facility in Quebec.

"Test data are confirming that the aircraft development programme is on track to reach key performance targets as the drive towards entry-into-service in late 2013 continues," says Bombardier in a statement.

"These major programme milestones signal that Bombardier and its suppliers are making significant progress in the development of the CSeries aircraft."

Bombardier refers to its CSeries systems integration rig as 'Aircraft 0.' During the first half of 2012, 90% of the aircraft's systems, including its engines and electrical systems, will be tested.

Aircraft systems will be progressively tested throughout the year to validate the aircraft on the ground prior to its maiden flight.

Bombardier adds that Pratt & Whitney has conducted over 1,300 hours of engine tests for the CSeries' PW1500G engine.

Bombardier's announcement follows a statement by Mitsubishi Aircraft that the first flight of its MRJ regional jet will be delayed by over one year to October-December 2013, with the first delivery pushed back to the summer of 2015 from the second quarter of 2014 originally.

Though targeted at different market segments - the MRJ will be able to carry 78-92 passengers, the CSeries 100-150 passengers - both aircraft have struggled to win orders.

The MRJ has won firm orders for 70 aircraft, and options for 60 more; the CSeries has secured firm orders for 138 aircraft, and options, purchase rights, and letters of intent for 179 more.