Bombardier proposes to extend CSeries maintenance intervals

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Bombardier is proposing to extend intervals between checks in the CSeries maintenance programme from previous targets its maintenance teams have worked with, the airframer says.

The move to extend intervals between maintenance checks to 850 flight hours for line maintenance checks and 8,500 flight hours for base maintenance checks will help operators see improved maintenance costs and less downtime, says the airframer.

"These proposed intervals will provide our operators with a leading maintenance programme for the CSeries aircraft," says Todd Young, vice-president customer services and support, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. "We believe that this offers further evidence of our commitment to provide competitive maintenance cost solutions for CSeries aircraft operators."

Maintenance working groups that include more than 100 people have been developing the aircraft maintenance plan since October 2010, and the new intervals have been revised from previous targets of 750 flight hours between A checks and 7,500 hours between C checks.

Bombardier works with CSeries suppliers to determine the maintenance schedule of the aircraft, the airframer says. That process involves analysing aircraft systems, the powerplant and structures before submitting the maintenance plan for approval by a review board ahead of the aircraft's entry-into-service in 2014.

The intervals are not only longer than the previous CSeries plan, but for other types of commercial aircraft in Bombardier's portfolio. Maintenance intervals for the Bombardier CRJ700, 900 and 1000 regional jets, for example, are 600 flight hours between A checks and 6,000 hours between C checks. However, the range and increased seat count of the CSeries make its mission different than the regional jets, which serve medium-haul routes. Therefore, the CSeries will generally have a different utilisation pattern than the regional jets.

Bombardier has not laid out specific plans to offer maintenance options for the CSeries, but the manufacturer is "actively pursuing" opportunities to do so, it says. More details of this strategy will be announced closer to the launch of the aircraft into service in 2014.

Bombardier confirms that the first flight of the CS100 version is on track for late June. That aircraft has a standard baseline configuration of 110 seats and is powered by the Pratt & Whitney PW1500G. The airframer is also offering the larger CS300 model, which can seat up to 160 in its highest-density configuration.

Bombardier had 145 firm orders for the CSeries at the end of the first quarter of 2013.