With the first flight of the CSeries having taken place, it's time to revisit a comparison of its orderbook with other types in history.
Based on data from Aviation Week Intelligence Network's Fleet Database, the CSeries has accumulated more orders than almost every other commercial jet in history on the date of its first flight, surpassed only by the A320, A350, and 787 (see table below).
It is important to note that aircraft based on existing types, such as the A320neo or MD-11, are not included as they are based on proven airframes. While the A320neo, for example, has an impressive number of orders, it is based on a proven airframe that's been in service for 25 years. The CSeries, as with every new aircraft type taking to the skies for the first time, has no such advantage. Therefore, we are only including new airframes in this analysis.
Now that the CSeries has flown, Bombardier still has 123 orders to go before it reaches its goal of 300 orders by the time the aircraft enters service. Will Bombardier be able to pull it off? How well have other aircraft types done in accumulating additional orders between their first flight and first delivery? Looking at Aviation Week Intelligence Network's Fleet Database again, we see mixed results for aircraft gathering orders between its first flight and first delivery.
|RANK||TYPE/FAMILY||ADDITIONAL ORDERS||DATE OF FIRST DELIVERY|
So while the CSeries has a backlog that is certainly respectable, it will be an impressive feat to gather another 123 orders before its first delivery, something only one aircraft type has managed to accomplish. However, with memories of numerous delays and setbacks still fresh on the minds of airlines, primarily for those who ordered the 787, a smooth flight test program and entry into service are sure to be just as good of a boost for Bombardier, even if no additional orders are received before first delivery.