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IN FOCUS: Bombardier CSeries faces critical three months

Perhaps somewhere inside Bombardier headquarters in Montreal is a secret marketing plan that envisions a spectacular three months ahead for the CSeries narrowbody programme.

Ideally, it would begin with an early first flight of the CS100 flight-test vehicle (FTV-1), beating the official forecast by perhaps more than a month in early May. Next, the flight-test campaign would mature rapidly enough to allow FTV-1 to make a debut appearance at the Paris air show in late June.

Having confirmed the initial performance of the aircraft and Pratt & Whitney PurePower 1521G engines, Bombardier would then announce, finally, the identity of the CSeries launch customer and sign a bevy of new orders, allowing the programme to easily surpass its goal of 300 firm orders from 20 customers by entry into service a year early.

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