Production CRJ1000 successfully completes first flight

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Bombardier's first production CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft has completed a successful first flight, ATI and Flight Global can exclusively reveal.

Aircraft 19001 "had a very good first flight", says Bombardier new commercial aircraft programme director Ben Boehm.

Under visual flight rules (VFR) conditions, the aircraft "actually started doing some GPS approaches already and had a good set of circuits in the Montreal area".

The CRJ1000, which is painted in NextGen colours, is "heading down to Wichita soon", he adds. There it will join Bombardier's CRJ1000 prototype to prepare for review by the flight operations evaluation board.

The CRJ1000 NexGen is scheduled for certification in the fourth quarter of 2009, with an entry-into-service in the first quarter of 2010.

Bombardier has secured 64 orders for the 100-seat regional jet, although a 15-strong order with MyAir may be in question after the Italian low-fare carrier's grounding.

Asked earlier this week to comment on the status of the MyAir CRJ1000 order, a Bombardier spokesman said: "We would prefer not to speculate on that possible outcome."

A fuller update on the CRJ1000 programme is expected to be released in early fall.