MIAMI — In its first major presentation since an executive shake-up and the first flight of the CSeries CS300, Ross Mitchell, Bombardier’s vice president of business acquisition, updated attendees on the Canadian manufacturer’s activities at the annual ISTAT conference in Phoenix earlier this week.
The CSeries CS300 flew its maiden flight on February 27, for almost five hours. Since then, said Ross, the large jet has flown “multiple” times. He said the CSeries CS300 design is optimized for the 100- to 149-seat market, noting it’s the only clean-sheet aircraft in that segment since the 1980s.
Testing on the CSeries continues in Wichita, Kansas, and the manufacturer’s Mirabel facility. Completed testing includes: an envelope expansion, to Mach .91; initial aircraft performance; stall characteristics; and emergency evacuation. Ongoing tests include: minimum control speeds; systems assessment; community noise evaluation; smoke penetration; and natural icing. The program has more than 1,000 flight hours and performed 330 flights. The aircraft has 243 firm orders and 563 commitments.
Bombardier Aerospace has a product family that offers “the best of both worlds,” said Mitchell, with turboprops and jets, along with regional and mainline aircraft. In the 60- to 99-seat market segment, Bombardier will have delivered 5,600 aircraft in the next 20 years. In the 100- to 149-seat segment, Bombardier forecasts 7,100 deliveries in the next 20 years.
Ross pointed out the success of the Q400 turboprop, noting the aircraft has the same cost as an ATR-72 with 14 more seats. It also has the same seat cost as a larger single-aisle jet, he added, also pointing out features including a premium cabin, hot-and-high performance and fuel efficiency.
So far in 2015, Bombardier has received 15 Q400 orders from GE Capital Aviation, five from Luxair, two from Alaska Air and three from Dublin-based Lessor Elix.
Ross reiterated the success of the CRJ regional jet program, the most successful one in the world. The program has 1,858 aircraft in service with more than 60 airlines and more than 50 countries. The aircraft has 804 firm orders for the CRJ700/900/1000, flown 42 million flight hours and served 1.5 billion passengers.