Windtunnel tests validate CSeries design: Bombardier

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Final results from a Bombardier CSeries windtunnel test programme further validate the twinjet type's aerodynamic design, and support its predictions of greatly improved fuel efficiency, the airframer believes.

Using more than 20 sophisticated scale models, Bombardier conducted windtunnel testing for more than 4,500h at facilities in Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and the USA, the most extensive and complex windtunnel testing the airframer has ever conducted.

The scale models were equipped with precise instrumentation to measure air flow, including as many as 700 pressure-sensitive ports over the wings, fuselage and tail, as well as moving control surfaces, such as wing flaps and leading edge slats, which could be repositioned to reflect actual flying events.

Some models were equipped with miniature air-driven turbine engines to gauge air flow interference with the aircraft wings, said Bombardier. The largest of the models, at 13.7% scale, had a wingspan of approximately 4.5m (15ft).

"Using the scale models and the environmental conditions possible in the windtunnels, Bombardier engineers were able to simulate the aerodynamics of the CSeries aircraft in various flight scenarios such as landing, take-off and cruising at high altitudes," said the airframer.

Bombardier expects the CSeries family to offer a "step change" in efficiency, including a 15% cash operating cost advantage and a 20% fuel-burn advantage over aircraft in its class.

"Simulated conditions during the windtunnel tests closely correlate to real-world flying conditions and the resulting data were used to improve and validate final CSeries aircraft design and systems," added David Tidd, vice-president of CSeries integrated product development.

Despite reports to the contrary, Bombardier said it is still eyeing service entry of "late 2013" for its 110-seat CS100. The company has booked firm orders for 133 CSeries aircraft, including 61 CS100 and 72 CS300 aircraft.