Bombardier has achieved the first flight of the third CSeries flight test vehicle on 3 March.

The take-off of FTV-3 from Bombardier’s factory in Mirabel, Canada, comes two months after FTV-2 joined the flight test programme and nearly six months after first flight of FTV-1.

Two more aircraft assigned to the 110-seat CS100 variant are scheduled to enter the flight test programme later this year.

CSeries FTV3

Photo courtesy of Bombardier.

Bombardier had accumulated about 100 flight test hours combined on FTV-1 and FTV-2 from 16 September through end of February.

The test fleet needs to average between 105-144 flight hours per month to complete the development phase as scheduled in the second half of 2015.

The latest schedule represents a delay of 18-24 months compared to Bombardier’s original plan.

The CSeries programme is testing several major innovations introduced on a Bombardier and single-aisle aircraft.

The innovations include the initial flight test campaign of Pratt & Whitney’s geared turbofan – the PW1500G. The CSeries also features Bombardier’s first full fly-by-wire flight control system and an aluminium-lithium fuselage.

Bombardier blamed unnamed suppliers and software delays for an initial series of schedule postponements for first flight, which slipped from late 2012 to September 2013.