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.