Air Capital Insider

Bombardier airliner enters final flight test stage

A Bombardier CSeries CS100 sits on the ramp near Bombardier Learjet in February.
A Bombardier CSeries CS100 sits on the ramp near Bombardier Learjet in February. File photo

Bombardier said Wednesday it is in the final stages of flight testing for its CSeries CS100 airliner.

The Canadian parent of Wichita’s Learjet said that it has achieved 90 percent of the CS100 certification program and that production ramp-up of the CS100 is underway.

“It’s a thrill to announce that we’re in the final stage of certification,” Bombardier Commercial Aircraft President Fred Cromer said in a news release. “Following a comprehensive flight test program, we’re now on the cusp of validating that the CS100 aircraft is ready for operation with SWISS.”

Cromer said the company remains on track for CS100 certification this year.

The final phase of testing will involve “a few weeks of function and reliability tests,” Bombardier said.

Much of the CS100 flight testing has been conducted at the Bombardier Flight Test Center in Wichita, adjacent to its Learjet plant on the west side of Wichita Eisenhower National Airport.

Development of the airplane has been a lengthy and costly process for the company. Bombardier is estimated to have spent nearly $4 billion on CSeries development through 2014, with another $1.1 billion estimated to get the company’s largest airplane to date through testing and certification.

The airplane, with seating for up to 160 passengers, was first announced in July 2004 at the Farnborough International Airshow.

Reach Jerry Siebenmark at 316-268-6576 or Follow him on Twitter: @jsiebenmark.