Third CSeries test aircraft nears first flight

Washington DC
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Bombardier has confirmed that first flight of the third CSeries test vehicle (FTV-3) is "coming soon" after Transport Canada awarded a flight test permit for the flying prototype.

The permit comes through nearly two months after first flight of FTV-2 in Mirabel, Canada, on 3 January. FTV-1 and FTV-2 have accumulated about 100 test hours combined since flight tests began on 16 September.

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The cockpit of Bombardier's CSeries third flight test vehicle (FTV-3). Bombardier.

Bombardier needs to complete about 2,400h of flight tests to deliver the CSeries in the second half of 2015. That schedule implies the programme must average a monthly flight hour rate between 105h and 145h per month.

A total of five CS100 test vehicles were originally expected to join the programme in one-month intervals following first flight on 16 September. Bombardier has not explained the reason for slower pace of aircraft deliveries of the flight test programme.

The FTV-4 and FTV-5 aircraft remain in assembly.