Bombardier to reopen entry into service plan for CSeries

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Bombardier will re-open the schedule for entry into service for the CSeries CS100 after completing first flight of the aircraft in the coming weeks, but as of now the company emphasises it sees no reason to delay the operational debut of the small narrowbody further.

The Canadian manufacturer says in notes to the second quarter financial statements that it will provide an update on the entry into service schedule for the 110-seat CS100 and 135-seat CS300 twin-engined jets.

Bombardier has previously said that the entry into service will follow 12 months from the date of first flight for each variant of the CSeries aircraft family.

Bombardier chief executive Pierre Beaudoin re-affirmed that plan remains intact as the company continues to implement software upgrades into FTV-1 ahead of first flight.

"We'll adjust if we need to adjust, but I've no reason this morning to say the 12-month (lead-time) is not realistic," Beaudoin says.

The entry into service of the CS100 has already been delayed at least eight months from the original plan to deliver to launch customer Malmo Aviation in late-2013.

Last November, Bombardier said supplier delays caused the CSeries first flight to move to late June. It has since updated the schedule twice - first to the end of July and now to the "coming weeks".

Beaudoin says the delays are not having an impact on the company's orderbook. So far, the company has reported only cancellations for three CS100s in the first quarter from an undisclosed customer.

"The airlines are very supportive of the programme we have and where we are in our schedule," Beaudoin says.

Bombardier is seeking to introduce several new innovations into the single-aisle airliner market with the CSeries, including an all-composite wing, aluminium-lithium fuselage panels and the Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1500G geared turbofan. The CSeries also will feature a fly-by-wire flight control system supplied by Parker Aerospace.

The FTV1 aircraft is undergoing systems gauntlet testing, which Bombardier calls the "aircraft in the loop" process. It simulates a complete flight on ground of the aircraft systems, exposing any glitches in the software or mechanical systems. Bombardier still must complete a series of low-speed and high-speed taxi tests and receive a flight test permit from Transport Canada before reaching the first flight milestone.