CSeries - in a Race With A350?

Bombardier has powered up the main electrical distribution system on the first CSeries flight-test aircraft, FTV-1. Airbus has installed the engines on the first A350, MSN001. Do we have a race on our hands to see who can fly by the Paris air show on 17-23 June?

Photo: Bombardier

As the photo above shows, the first CSeries is on its wheels, engines installed, and out of the assembly hangar at Mirabel. Bombardier is confident it can meet its new target of flying by the end of June, but is playing down the possibility of a first flight before or during Paris. The A350 is further behind and with fewer than 80 days to go, as my colleague Guy Norris notes, it would long shot to bet on the A350 flying before the show opens. But it could be close.

Bombardier says two most significant wing structural tests required for first flight are now done with completion of the down-bending test on the complete-aircraft static test article, following the earlier up-bending test. Safety-of-flight tests on the "Aircraft 0" integrated systems rig are progressing well, the company systems. Powering up FTV-1, meanwhile, allows subsystem and avionics testing to begin on the aircraft.

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