MIAMI — Bombardier’s CSeries Flight Test Campaign has been halted after that one of its aircraft experienced an uncontained engine failure, The Wall Street Journal reported today.
The incident took place on the program’s flagship aircraft, FTV1, while involved in ground maintenance testing, according to Bombardier. The WSJ has since confirmed the incident damaged both the engine and body of the aircraft. There were no injuries.
The CSeries is powered by Pratt & Whitney’s PW1500G, the latest development of the Connecticut-based company. The powerplant, which features a new fuel saving concept that has different parts of the engine core running at different speeds, is the exclusive engine for the new family aircraft. The incident hands a fresh setback to an already sluggish test program, and is likely to add another delay to an airplane that has already been beset by them.
It could also be a major setback for Pratt & Whitney, which has pinned a lot of its commercial hopes on the engine. The engine is currently exclusive not only to Bombardier’s CSeries, but also to Embraer’s coming EJet-E2 family aircraft. Perhaps most pressing, it has been an increasingly popular option for the Airbus A320neo series. Over 5,500 are current on order. To date, Pratt & Whitney has not released a statement and has not been available to provide comment.