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Wed, Sep 03, 2008

Bombardier Completes First Flight Of CRJ1000

100-Seat Airliner Sees Light Under Its Wheels

Bombardier Aerospace announced Wednesday the prototype CRJ1000 NextGen jetliner, serial number 19991, made its successful inaugural flight from the Bombardier facility at Mirabel, Quebec earlier in the day.

The flight, crewed by pilots Jacques Thibaudeau and Chuck Ellis and flight test engineer Eugene Lardizabal took off at 10:02 am EDT and lasted three hours and 25 minutes. It reached an altitude of 30,000 feet and a maximum speed of 260 knots.

"We put the gear up, operated the flaps and slats and exercised our new 'Fly-by-Wire' rudder," said Thibaudeau. "All systems worked as they were designed to do. The aircraft handled similarly to the smaller CRJ900 airliner so flight crews will have no problem in transitioning to the 100-seat CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft."

"A first flight is an important milestone in the development of a new aircraft such as the CRJ1000 NextGen regional jet," said Jean-Guy Blondin, Director CRJ Programs, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. "We are very satisfied with the readiness of our prototype which is embarking on its journey to Type Certification, thanks to the dedicated work of our suppliers and employees."

"The Wichita flight test team, supported by our product development team will be following a disciplined approach to flight testing and remain on schedule for subsequent milestones before our 100-seat aircraft enters commercial service in the fourth quarter of 2009," said David Tidd, Director CRJ1000 Product Development Team, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.

Following a few more flights from Mirabel, the prototype CRJ1000 NextGen jet will be flown to the Bombardier Flight Test Center in Wichita, KS where, next year, it will be joined by the first production CRJ1000 NextGen airliner to prepare for entry into service and review by the Flight Operations Evaluation Board composed of pilots from Transport Canada, the Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency.

"With up to 15 per cent reduction in aircraft operating costs against its closest competitor, the CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft is the optimized solution in the regional airline industry for medium-haul application," said Gary R. Scott, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. "Airline passengers want increased comfort and more non-stop flights. Airlines need better fuel efficiency, lower maintenance costs and dependable performance. The CRJ1000 NextGen airliner delivers it all."

Introduced in February 2007, the CRJ1000 program has attracted a total of 63 firm orders, conditional orders and options, from four airlines.

FMI: www.bombardier.com

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