Certification testing on Bombardier’s new commercial airliner is 80 percent complete, the Canadian parent of Wichita’s Learjet said Thursday.
The five C Series CS100s in the flight test program have accumulated more than 2,250 flight hours. The planes are now undergoing noise performance testing.
“The summer months are proving very productive for the C Series aircraft,” Bombardier Commercial Aircraft president Fred Cromer said in a news release.
He said passengers also flew on board the CS100 for the first time as part of the aircraft’s cabin testing.
Cromer said the airplane remains on track for certification this year. Entry into service is expected in the first half of 2016, he said.
Part of the flight testing for the CS100 is conducted at Bombardier’s flight test center adjacent to its Learjet plant on the west side of Wichita’s Eisenhower National Airport.
Spirit AeroSystems is also a supplier to the CS100, manufacturing its pylons.
Bombardier has struggled with development of the C Series. It’s about two years behind schedule, and development costs surpassed $5 billion earlier this year.
The C Series program also comprises the CS300, which has maximum seating for 160 passengers compared with 133 for the CS100.
The C Series is intended to compete with the Boeing 737 and Airbus’ A320 family of aircraft.
Bombardier said it has 603 booked orders and commitments for the C Series, including 243 firm orders.
Swiss International Airlines is the launch customer for the airplane.