Bombardier’s CRJ1000 Prototype Flies Successfully
Bombardier Aerospace recently announced that their CRJ1000 prototype enjoyed a successful inaugural flight. The CRJ1000 NextGen Jetliner took off from the Bombardier facility located in Mirabel, Quebec, for its first three hour, twenty-five minutes flight.
It seems that the flight went incredibly well. The aircraft was piloted by Jacques Thibaudeau and Chuck Ellis, with Eugene Lardizabal on board as the flight test engineer. During the course of the flight the CRJ1000 NextGen Jetliner climbed to an altitude of 30 000 feet and managed to whiz through the skies at a top speed of 260 knots. According to Thibaudeau, “all systems worked as they were designed to,” including the new fly-by-wire rudder system. Moreover the pilot remarked that the aircraft had a similar handling style to the smaller CRJ900 airliner which made it incredibly easy for flight crews who’d flown that aircraft to make the transition to the newer and bigger CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft.
After the 100-seat aircraft has made a few more flights from Mirabel, it will be flown to the Bombardier Flight Test Center in Whichita, Kansas, where it will start the service and review process necessary for commercial aircraft entering the market. Here it will be reviewed by the Flight Operations Evaluation Board, which is made up of pilots from Transport Canada, the European Aviation Safety Agency and the Federal Aviation Administration. Once the CRJ1000 reaches Whichita, the Whichita flight test team will work in conjunction with Bombardier’s product development team to continue with test flights and ensure that the aircraft remains on schedule for the subsequent milestones that it must reach before entering commercial service. It is hoped that it will reach that milestone by the fourth quarter of 2009.
So what advantages does the CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft have over its competitors? For starters, a 15 per cent reduction in aircraft operating costs when compared to its closest competitor. It also offers passengers increased comfort, while providing airline companies with an aircraft that is more fuel efficient and which has lower maintenance costs and dependable performance. No wonder there are already 63 firm orders for the aircraft from four different airlines. It shouldn’t be long now before the CRJ1000 NextGen takes to the skies, delivering the best in performance, comfort and style.