Bombardier mulls modifying CRJ rudder system to fly-by-wire

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Bombardier is considering modifying the CRJ700/900's hydro-mechanical rudder system to the control-by-wire system used in the new 100-seat CRJ1000.

"We haven't made the decision but it's something we're thinking about," Bombardier CRJ programmes director Jean-Guy Blondin revealed to ATI and Flightglobal this week during an interview at the firm's Mirabel production plant.

In July 2009 the CRJ1000 programme experienced a software glitch associated with the rudder control-by-wire system, which is supplied by Germany's Liebherr. Bombardier ultimately fixed the issue, but certification testing - and consequently delivery - of the aircraft was delayed.

Blondin says that, since the CRJ1000 entered into service last month with launch customer Air Nostrum and Air France subsidiary Brit Air, the aircraft has been "delivering on all fronts".

He says the firm is "very happy with the decision" to offer the new rudder control-by-wire system.

While the CRJ1000 rudder control-by-wire system covers lateral axis, Bombardier's new 110/130-seat CSeries aircraft "will be a fully three-axis" fly-by-wire controlled aircraft, notes Blondin.

"The learning we've done on the CRJ1000 will help us reduce the technical risk on the CSeries," he adds.