Wingset for CSeries FTV-1 to arrive in October

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Bombardier expects to receive the wingset for its CSeries first flight test vehicle (FTV-1) next month, as a top sales executive from the airframer acknowledges that the first flight of the aircraft might not happen by the end of the year.

Bombardier recently said that final assembly of the CSeries structural test aircraft should be "pretty much complete" by the end-of-October timeframe, to be followed by assembly of FTV-1. Major components for FTV-1 are scheduled to arrive in Montreal in late September.

"FTV-1 is getting its wingset in the next month," says Bombardier's senior vice-president of sales marketing and asset management Chet Fuller today at the Boyd Group International Aviation Forecast Summit in Dallas today.

Bombardier had scheduled first flight by end-2012, but the airframer's executives have repeatedly reiterated that the entry service date, by end-2013, is more meaningful for customers.

Fuller acknowledges that "the first flight might not happen by the end of the year" and that a first flight in the first quarter of 2013 could be more likely, but was quick to add that the programme was "coming together very well".

Bombardier has orders and commitments for 352 CSeries aircraft so far, and the aircraft will enter into service with an undisclosed launch customer by end-2013.