Video: Bombardier’s C-Series jet – a quieter, lighter & more fuel-efficient plane – made its debut. Global National’s Mike Armstrong has the details.
MIRABEL, Que. – Bombardier’s CSeries commercial aircraft took off to cheers on its maiden flight Monday morning, shortly before 9 a.m. Eastern Time.
The gleaming white CS100 plane lifted off the runway at Mirabel airport north of Montreal in sunny skies after early morning rain ended and heavy clouds dissipated.
Hundreds of employees, suppliers and invited guests cheered as the plane left the ground for the first time.
Ahead of the launch, Bombardier officials and customers enthused about the potential for the long-awaiting plane, which marks a new generation of aviation technology for the company.
“It’s very important for us and the aerospace industry,” Bombardier chairman Laurent Beaudoin said.
The president and CEO of Toronto-based Porter Airlines, which is planning to use CSeries jets to expand its service from an enlarged island airport near Canada’s largest city, said he’s looking forward to receiving test data to confirm the engine’s are as quiet as expected – and to silencing some critics.
“I think the test data that Bombardier will be able to produce now that this test program is underway should flow to the city (of Toronto) and help validate in due course the information it needs to give the approval,” said Porter chief executive Robert Deluce.
The plane took off from the closed commercial airport after a Global 5000 chase plane passed along the flight route.
The business jet then flew in parallel to the CSeries to convey any observations to its two pilots and flight engineer.
The test flight could last between 45 minutes and three hours and is scheduled to be followed by a news conference after pilots provide officials with a debriefing.
The first 110- to 125-seat CS100 is slated to enter into service in about a year, barring more delays.
The heavily anticipated first flight had been delayed three times over nearly nine months.
The plane is made of composite materials and its Pratt & Whitney engine promises to be quieter and help deliver fuel cost savings for customers.
The larger CS300, with up to 160 seats, is slated to be delivered by the end of 2014, after undergoing its own test flights.
Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) has received commitments for 388 aircraft, including 177 firm orders.
© The Canadian Press, 2013