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CSeries First Flight Target Monday

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Bombardier says it's hoping for perfect weather Monday to enable the first flight of its much-anticipated CSeries airliner. Although the company was targeting a morning flight, the weather forecast on Sunday was favoring an afternoon window. Showers and 10-knot winds were expected to end by noon when the skies were forecast to clear. The first test article has been given a fresh promotional paint scheme and finished high-speed taxi tests last week, hitting V1 on the runway at Mirabel Airport near Montreal. Wheel shimmy tests have also been conducted.

The first flight has been delayed several times, first by supplier problems and later by software issues in the fly-by-wire systems. The aircraft is seen as a huge gamble for Bombardier, which is the third largest manufacturer of aircraft in the world. The CSeries will compete directly in the 100- to 149-seat single-aisle airliner market against Boeing, Airbus and Embraer. Bombardier now has 177 firm orders for the aircraft and company officials have said they're confident that more orders will materialize after the first flight.

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