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Bombardier C Series Wins Transport Canada Certification

Download: Printable PDF Date: 18 Dec 2015 16:13 (UTC) category:
Bombardier C Series Wins Transport Canada Certification - Manufacturer publisher
Tatjana Obrazcova
Country: Canada Aircraft: Airplanes

The Bombardier C Series CS100 won type certification from Transport Canada on Friday, clearing the way for its entry into service with Swiss International Airlines during the second quarter of next year. The approval comes more than two years after first flight and follows more than 3,000 hours of flight testing, validation of thousands of test results and authentication of design and performance data.

“This is an historic moment for Bombardier,” said Bombardier Commercial Aircraft president Fred Cromer. “Bringing to market the only new family of aircraft developed for the 100- to 150- seat market segment in close to 30 years is a standout accomplishment—the C Series aircraft is now well on its way to opening up new opportunities for operators, while delivering unrivalled economic advantages, performance, and environmental credentials. It's the new reality for the single-aisle market.”

Design Approval Designees (DADs)—engineers authorized to act on behalf of the Minister of Transport to approve aeronautical design and make findings of compliance—worked with Transport Canada over the last five years planning, testing and reviewing thousands of technical drawings and documents that ultimately define the C Series and allow for its assembly against that design definition.

Formally launched in July 2008 and originally scheduled for certification by the end of 2013, the C Series suffered no fewer than four separate delays during the course of its development due to problems ranging from software glitches to an uncontained failure of one of the Pratt & Whitney PW1500G turbofans on the first flight test vehicle during ground testing in May of last year.

Bombardier continues talks with Canadian federal government officials about a further $1 billion investment in the program following a $1 billion injection from the province of Quebec in October. The investment by the Quebec government came three weeks after Bombardier and Airbus each confirmed that they had explored “certain business opportunities” together and that talks had ended following reports that Bombardier offered a majority stake in the C Series to the European airframer.

The rescue bid belied Bombardier’s past efforts to dismiss suggestions that it didn’t control sufficient resources to overcome sluggish sales of the airplane and the certification delay. Before the Quebec investment, cost overages and a paucity of order deposits prompted Bombardier to raise $3 billion in debt and equity this year and announce plans to sell part of its train business to boost its balance sheet.

Notwithstanding its money woes, Bombardier reports that the airplane meets or exceeds all technical specifications. In fact, last year Bombardier announced an increase in the C Series’ maximum range, from 2,950 nm to 3,300 nm.

Separately, the larger Bombardier CS300 remains “on track” to gain its type certification within the next six months, Bombardier said Friday. That airplane, designed to hold as many as 160 passengers in a high-density configuration, has drawn orders covering 190 of the 243 C Series examples Bombardier has sold. In fact, Bombardier rightly points out that in the capacity category the C Series CS300 occupies, its product has actually outsold the Boeing 737 Max 7 and Airbus A319, neither of which have attracted much attention or market success. Still, questions over the overall size of the market persist, as the company still hadn’t yet collected the orders for 300 C Series airplanes management had targeted for the period leading to service entry.

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