CSeries First Flight Window Opens Monday Morning, September 16 @ 9:30 AM

 

Bombardier CSeries CS100 FTV1 raises its nose during a high-speed taxi run at Mirabel Airport. Photo: Bombardier Aero

Bombardier CSeries CS100 FTV1 raises its nose during a high-speed taxi run at Mirabel Airport.
Photo: Bombardier Aero

UPDATE: September 15 – 7:30 PM

Bombardier has confirmed that the first flight window of the CS100 Flight Test Vehicle 1 (FTV1) will open on Monday morning September 16th. The company’s press release says that their webcast of the event will begin at 9:30 AM, which reasonably means the first flight will happen soon after. The current weather forecast at Montreal-Mirabel calls for light winds around 10 knots just about out of the north at 350 degrees, and a mostly clear ceiling. Howard Slutsken will be covering the event for us LIVE beginning at 8:00AM ET on Twitter @airchive and Facebook.  You can find the webcast of the first flight at www.cseriesfirstflight.bombardier.com. Stay with us for continuing updates.

EXTRA: CSeries Background and Roll-Out Story HERE

A "beauty shot" of CSeries FTV1 at sunset. Or maybe sunrise. It's still nice. Photo: Bombardier Aero

A “beauty shot” of CSeries FTV1 at sunset. Or maybe sunrise. It’s still nice.
Photo: Bombardier Aero

PREVIOUS UPDATE – September 15:

With its first flight still scheduled for tomorrow, CS100 Flight Test Vehicle 1 (FTV1) did a few more taxi runs this morning on Mirabel Airport’s Runway 24.

The weather for Mirabel is cloudy today with a few showers forecast overnight. It’s supposed to clear beginning early on Monday morning. We’re waiting to see the forecast for later in the day.

Bombardier posted this new video which shows how “shimmy” testing was done on FTV1′s landing gear. Check out the high-speed taxi run at 2:18 into the video.

 

Let’s hope for clear skies and light winds tomorrow. Stay with us, Airchive will be at Mirabel Airport to cover FTV1′s first flight!

PREVIOUS UPDATE – September 13:

Bombardier announced moments ago that CSeries first flight is scheduled for this Monday, September 16, 2013 in the morning. Bombardier has been fighting with mother nature for the better part of a week on determining a flight window. Forecasts currently show Monday with the best possible weather over the next seven days. We have additional details in our story: “Bombardier and Boeing Set for First Flight Double-Header”. Stay tuned to Airchive for any developments as they happen. We will have live coverage from Montreal starting Sunday morning with Howard Slutsken.

UPDATE – September 10:

The weather at Mirabel Airport (YMX) is looking pretty crummy today, with 2 miles visibility in drizzle and mist, along with a low 300 foot ceiling. There’s a chance of thunderstorms later today, too. Definitely not good enough for Flight Test Vehicle 1′s (FTV1) final tests and first flight.

But to keep us updated, Bombardier just released this short video showing FTV1 reaching its V1 speed of 124 knots (142 mph or 230 kph).  As a plane accelerates down a runway, V1 is the “decision speed” at which the pilots decide to either continue the takeoff, or stop the plane on the remaining runway.

Have a good look at the video. You’ll see FTV1′s nose lift just a bit from the runway, along with some interesting movement of FTV1 as the pilots test the plane’s reactions to control inputs at the higher speeds, and then strong braking.

The weather forecast for Mirabel is looking better towards the end of the week, into the weekend. Stay tuned for FTV1′s first flight!

PREVIOUS UPDATE – September 9:
Small update this morning, and it’s all weather based. Current forecast for Montreal showing less than ideal conditions through the week for a go at first flight. Things look brighter for the weekend, however, with Friday’s weather looking much better. Still no confirmation from Bombardier. h/t to Leeham news & comment

PREVIOUS UPDATE – September 6:
Anticipation is building quickly at Montreal’s Mirabel Airport (YMX) this morning, where Bombardier’s CSeries aircraft is currently undertaking high-speed taxi testing. While a first flight date has still not been set, Flight Test Vehicle 1 (or FTV1 as it’s called) is expected to fly in the coming weeks, depending on weather and successful completion of additional program testing.  We’ll likely see FTV1′s first flight before a large company celebration scheduled for mid-September.

You can see the preparations that are underway at YMX, along with some great shots of FTV1 in this story from Montreal-based TV network, TVA.  And yes, the story is in French, but the shots are great.  Click HERE to watch the story – sorry about the commercials.

VIDEO: High Speed taxi test video from Bombardier:

PREVIOUS UPDATE – August 30:

Bombardier Aerospace announced Friday August 30th that the first CSeries aircraft – Flight Test Vehicle 1 (FTV1) – has successfully obtained Transport Canada’s Flight Test Permit, clearing the way for its maiden flight, expected in the “coming weeks”. This comes after 2 delays announced in June and July. Since then Bombardier has remained mum on the actual first flight window.

This follows a series of successful pre-flight tests including low-speed taxi runs. Now that it has a Flight Test Permit, FTV1 will begin high-speed taxi runs. The plane will reach take-off speed on the runway and then will put on the brakes – no flying yet! As well, FTV2 and FTV3 are close to completion, and will join the 5 aircraft CS100 flight test program.

Photo: Bombardier Aero

Photo: Bombardier Aero

“Five years in the making and today, following receipt of Transport Canada’s flight test permit, we are very close to the CSeries airliner’s first flight – a historic moment for Bombardier and a game-changing moment for the industry,” said Mike Arcamone, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “The CSeries aircraft teams have spent the last few weeks completing rigorous exercises to ensure the integrity and maturity of the aircraft are absolutely in check with the flight crew’s requirements. Pending optimal weather (always a variable in Québec), the CSeries aircraft will soon take to the skies.”

This has been a good week for the Montreal-based airframer as Rostekhnologii, (Rostec) a state corporation controlled by the Russian Federation, executed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) with Bombardier to explore building a joint-venture final assembly plant in Russia for the Q400 NextGen turboprop. If the factory is built, Rostec will place 50 Q400s in the region. At the same time, Ilyushin Finance Co. signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for 50 Q400s, also conditional on the plant being built in Russia.

Looks like between the CSeries and Boeing 787-9 first flight, September is shaping up to be a busy month. If everything goes according to plan, I’ll be at Mirabel Airport to cover FTV1′s first flight for Airchive.

PREVIOUS UPDATE – August 23:  Bombardier has released more photos of FTV1 in it’s new colours, along with a video of the painting process.

CSeries FTV1, almost ready for it's first flight. Photo: Bombardier Aero

CSeries FTV1, almost ready for its first flight.
Photo: Bombardier Aero

And here’s the video:

 

Bombardier CSeries FTV1 is just out of the paint hanger. Nice first flight "do".

Bombardier CSeries FTV1 is just out of the paint hanger. Nice first flight “do”.

PREVIOUS UPDATE – August 22:  CSeries Flight Test Vehicle 1 (FTV1) has appeared with it’s new “first flight” livery. The new Bombardier “house” paint scheme features an all-white fuselage, with blue engine cowlings and tail. More photos to come tomorrow!

First production CSeries central fuselage unit. Photo: Bombardier Aero

First production CSeries central fuselage unit.
Photo: Bombardier Aero

Bombardier also just released a photo of the first production unit of the CSeries central fuselage. It was completed at Bombardier’s facility in Belfast, Ireland, and will be shipped to the CSeries factory in Mirabel, Quebec, via boat.

CSeries FTV1 "on the button" of Rwy 29 at Mirabel Airport. Not quite ready for takeoff, but taxi tests are underway!

CSeries FTV1 “on the button” of Rwy 29 at Mirabel Airport.
Not quite ready for takeoff, but taxi tests are underway!

ORIGINAL STORY – August 19:  Late last week, Bombardier confirmed that CSeries Flight Test Vehicle 1 (FTV1) has completed stationary high-powered engine runs and thrust reverser runs, and has started slow-speed taxi runs. The testing is taking place at Bombardier’s facility at Mirabel, Quebec (YMX).

Tests that compare FTV1′s behavior to CSeries “Aircraft 0″ were also completed. “Aircraft 0″ is the focal point of Bombardier’s Complete Integrated Aircraft Systems Test Area (CIASTA). It’s a high-fidelity flight model with complete fly-by-wire, high lift devices, hydraulics, electrical and avionics systems, but without any aircraft structure. Bombardier has been testing Aircraft 0 to validate the CSeries’ engineering and systems for about a year.

FTV1′s most recent testing is called an “Aircraft in the Loop” (ACIL) test.  While sitting on the ground, FTV1 was electronically “fooled” to believe that it was actually flying, with systems operating and flight control surfaces moving during the test.

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Photo: Bombardier Aero

“We checked off yet another great series of accomplishments on the first CSeries aircraft,” said Robert Dewar, Vice President and General Manager, CSeries Program, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.  “Our technical teams are very pleased with the results of the ACIL test data which is comparing extremely well to Aircraft 0/CIASTA – further validating the systems integration.”

FTV1 enjoying a nice taxi test in the Quebec countryside at Mirabel Airport (YMX)

FTV1 enjoying a nice taxi run in the Quebec countryside at Mirabel Airport (YMX)
Photo: Bombardier Aero

Full vibration checks were done during the high-powered engine runs, and the flight test team was extremely impressed by how quiet the engines were at full power, Mr. Dewar added.

After getting a new “first flight” paint job, FTV1 is expected to fly “in the coming weeks”. Airchive will be there to cover this exciting event!

Howard ready to go in an LS-4 glider in Minden, NV

Howard ready to go in an LS-4 glider in Minden, NV

 

 

Howard Slutsken has been an AvGeek since he was a kid, watching Trans-Canada Airlines Super Connies, Viscounts, Vanguards & DC-8s at Montreal’s Dorval Airport in the early ’60s. He worked at Toronto International Airport in the 1970′s as a “Ramp Rat”, and got his Private Pilot’s licence in 1980. He’s added floatplane and glider ratings along the way. Howard will pretty well drop everything if he gets an opportunity to go flying in just about any kind of aircraft.

 

Howard is based in Vancouver BC, where he operates his Communications and Marketing Consultancy, Wingborn Ltd. He’s also Senior Correspondent for AirlineReporter.com.

@HowardSlutsken |  howard@wingborn.ca

Co-editor-in-chief Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren also contributed to this report
Report last updated September 10, 2013 @ 11:35 AM PT

Extra Resources:

CSeries Background and Roll-Out story here.

FTV1 taxi test video here

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