The flight lasting more than 2 hours verified the airworthiness of the larger airframe and basic flight controls.
The CS300 airliner – bearing Canadian registration markings C-FFDK – departed Montréal–Mirabel International Airport at 11:00 EST and returned at 15:58 EST. It reached an altitude of 41,000 feet (12,500 metres) and a speed of 255 knots (470 km/h).
Capt. Andris (Andy) Litavniks, who was the co-pilot on the historic maiden flight of the smaller CS100 model on September 16, 2013, was pilot-in-command on today’s milestone flight. Capt. Litavniks was assisted by co-pilot Christophe Marchand and flight test engineers Anthony Dunne and Mark Metivet.
“It was an absolute privilege to fly the first flight of the CS300 airliner and I’m absolutely ecstatic with how well it handled. It’s a pilot’s aircraft and handled exactly as predicted by simulation,” said Capt. Litavniks. “Pilots will find it easy to transition from the CS100 to the CS300 aircraft or vice versa, which will greatly reduce training costs for operators using both models.”
The stretched variant of the CS100 aircraft had undergone ground vibration testing prior to the first flight.
With the addition of the second overwing emergency exit door (OWEED), the CS300 in its high density configuration can seat upto 160 passengers.
“Our CSeries aircraft program is progressing well, with results from testing as expected or better. The CS300 airliner will now join the five CS100 aircraft flight test vehicles that have amassed more than 1,000 flight test hours to date,” said Rob Dewar, Vice President, CSeries Program. “We are confident the CS100 aircraft will be certified in the second half of 2015, followed closely by entry-into-service. The CS300 airliner is expected to follow about six months later.”
A second CS300 is in production at Bombardier’s new CSeries state-of-the-art final assembly facility in Mirabel and is expected to come off by year end.
The CS300 FTV joins the four other CS100 flight test vehicles, which has clocked over 1000 flight test hours of the 2400 required to achieve certification ahead of delivery scheduled for later this year.
More than 60 percent of the 240 firm orders bagged by Bombardier is for the CS300.
CSeries aircraft offer a 15 percent cash operating cost advantage, a 20 percent fuel burn advantage, exceptional operational flexibility, widebody comfort and an unmatched environmental and noise footprint.
Bombardier has booked orders and commitments for 563 CSeries aircraft, which include firm orders for 243 CSeries airliners.
The project has been plagued by developmental delays, and is now estimated to cost $1 billion more, at $5 billion.