CSeries development moves forward, second aircraft nearing completion

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Bombardier’s CS100 programme has moved into the product certification phase and the CS300 programme is transitioning from the detailed design phase to the product definition release phase, according to the company’s third quarter report.

Released 31 October, the report says four CS100 test aircraft are in various stages of fabrication and development and will join the first flight test vehicle (FTV-1) in flight testing in the coming months.

The first CS100 aircraft made its maiden flight on 16 September and has completed four test flights, including the most-recent one on 30 October.

The order backlog remains fixed at 177 aircraft, but the test programme will soon provide critical data to airlines about the aircraft's actual performance.

The second CS100 test aircraft is expected to fly “within weeks”, Bombardier chief executive Pierre Beaudoin says in an earnings call. Bombardier will start feeding fight test data to airlines after the second aircraft begins flying, he says.

Bombardier will provide an update on the CSeries in the “coming months” following a review of the flight test timeline, says the third quarter report. The first CS100 is scheduled to be delivered to Malmo Aviation approximately 12 months after first flight on 16 September.

The first aircraft has accumulated only 10h of flight tests in the first six weeks of the certification programme. The company has estimated the CS100 needs to complete 2,400h of flight tests before certification and delivery.

Beaudoin insists that the CSeries programme remains on schedule, and the 27-day hiatus between the third and fourth test flights was planned.

"We are on plan with the flight test programme at this point," he says. "We are where we thought we would be."

It adds that CSeries components and systems, which are made by internal and external suppliers, are being tested worldwide. and test results confirm that development is on track to reach performance targets.

In addition, the company says it continues to build the final assembly line for CSeries near its existing facility in Maribel, Quebec.

Bombardier reported on 31 October that it earned net income of $147 million in the third quarter, down 14.5% from the same period last year.

The company's aerospace division reports earnings before financing costs and taxes of $86 million, down 27% year-over-year, as aircraft deliveries and orders slipped.

Bombardier delivered 45 aircraft in the quarter and received orders for 26 aircraft during the period. By comparison, Bombardier delivered 57 aircraft and received 83 aircraft orders in the third quarter of 2012.