Bombardier Delays CSeries First Flight
Bombardier says it needs to tweak the software of its CSeries test aircraft and has delayed the maiden flight of the aircraft until sometime in late July. The company announced the decision last week even though executives had put a hard deadline of the end of June on the first flight. Bombardier spokesman Marc Duchesne told the Toronto Star the unspecified issues will be addressed and this will be the last delay in the test program. “We’re in good shape. We just need a few more weeks,” Duchesne said. “It’s nothing over the life of a 20-year program. We’re almost there.”
The aircraft was supposed to fly by the end of 2012 and Bombardier pushed that to the end of June. It blamed supplier problems on that delay. Interest in the CSeries, which is a major initiative for Bombardier, has been tepid so far and competition in the 100-160-seat category is ramping up. Embraer unveiled its reworked E series airliners at the Paris Air Show and announced 365 orders. Bombardier has 388 orders for CSeries aircraft, 188 of them firm. Analysts speculate orders will pick up once test flights prove Bombardier's claims that the aircraft will burn 20 percent less fuel and cost about 15 percent less to operate than comparable airframes.