Bombardier is about to reach the design freeze for the CSeries and will make a "behind closed doors" presentation of the definitive aircraft to existing and serious potential customers ahead of starting the detail design phase (DDP).
"We are in the final months of the joint development phase and will enter into detail design later this year," says Bombardier vice-president, commercial aircraft programmes, Ben Boehm. "The design freeze happens at the start of DDP."
Boehm says the key packages of the programme will transition into DDP in phases one at a time. "Prior to the final close-out of the airplane, we'll have a closed door airline advisory session where we'll present it in entirety to the customers that have signed, plus any that are in advanced negotiations. This will happen in the next couple of months. Then we'll transition to DDP."
While systems design has already been completed in parallel for the two CSeries variants, from a structures perspective work will start with the baseline CS100 variant followed by a "shortened recycle of all the development phases, starting from joint definition onwards" for the CS300 stretch, he adds.
Boehm says that final assembly of the first flight-test airframe will begin in Montreal in "late 2011, early 2012". The CS100 flight-test programme is due to run for 12 months and use five aircraft, with deliveries due to begin at the end of 2013. The CS300 will follow around a year later, with two aircraft set to undertake the test programme for the larger variant.