Bombardier’s CSeries CS300 narrowbody has completed its first flight, joining its smaller sister-ship the CS100 in flight test phase.
The CS300 took off from Montréal-Mirabel International Airport at 1100 local time on Friday February 27 and returned four hours and 58 minutes later, Bombardier said in a statement.
With Captain Andris Litavniks and Christophe Marchand at the controls and flight test engineers Anthony Dunne and Mark Metivet on board, the aircraft with registration C-FFDK climbed to 41,000 feet (12,500 metres) and reached a speed of 255 knots (470km/h) during the flight before returning to Montréal-Mirabel.
Litavniks said he was “absolutely ecstatic” with how the CS300 performed.
“It’s a pilot’s aircraft and handled exactly as predicted by simulation,” Litavniks said in a statement.
“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 CSeries is a clean-sheet family of single-aisle aircraft pitched at the 100- to 149-seat market.
The CS100 was designed to carry 110 passengers in a two-class configuration, while the larger CS300 has capacity for 135 passengers in a business and economy layout and was a direct competitor to the Airbus A319neo and Boeing 737 MAX 7.
Bombardier said it had 563 booked orders and commitments for the CSeries, including 243 firm orders.
“We continue to see increased interest from all over the world and as our performance targets are validated, we expect the enthusiasm for the CSeries family of aircraft to grow even more,” Bombardier Commercial Aircraft president Mike Arcamone said.
The CS100’s maiden flight was on September 16 2013, with five aircraft part of the flight test program.
CSeries Program vice president Rob Dewar said the CS100 had completed more than 1,000 flight test hours and was progressing well.
“We are confident the CS100 aircraft will be certified in the second half of 2015, followed closely by entry-into-service, Dewar said in a statement.
“The CS300 airliner is expected to follow about six months later.”
The flight test program has been hit by a number of delays, including a three-month grounding in 2014 due to an engine fire during stationary ground maintenance testing on May 29.
The CSeries program also suffered a blow in late August when Sweden’s Braathens Aviation said it would no longer be the launch customer of the new aircraft.