Bombardier Aerospace announced today that the assembly of the test airframe for its all-new CSeries aircraft is well underway at the company’s Experimental Test Facility in St-Laurent, Quebec. The test article will be used during the Complete Airframe Static Test (CAST) that is designed to demonstrate the static strength of the airframe and show compliance with certification requirements.
Additionally, parts for the first CSeries test flight vehicle (FTV1) are on site in Mirabel, Quebec, the production site of the CSeries aircraft program. Major components for the FTV1 are nearing completion and are on schedule for arrival in late September.
„Every day brings a new development and it’s very exciting. Whether it’s the start of a new test, the results of a new test, or the arrival of a new production part, the team is very enthusiastic about all these milestones,” said Rob Dewar, Vice President and General Manager, CSeries, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. „The assembly of the test airframe is another significant development as we make headway in the intense ground testing phase before the CSeries aircraft’s flight test program. The fuselage sections in the test airframe are being joined and we’re looking forward to adding the wings and the empennage, and starting the stress tests.”
The test airframe – comprised of both metallic and composite structures – is being fitted and assembled in a test rig consisting of a superstructure of steel towers and trusses, as well as loading structures and loading actuators that will be used to apply loads to the test airframe. To demonstrate static strength, a series of load cases – representing flight maneuvers, landing, take-off and other in-flight and on-ground conditions – will be applied to the free-floating, non-restrained, counterbalanced test airframe. For selected load cases, internal cabin pressure will also be applied when simulating in-flight conditions.
During testing, strain gauges will be used to measure and record up to 8,000 parameters at defined locations on the airframe. Data from the strain gauges will be monitored by Bombardier’s stress engineers, as well as by the partners and suppliers that are involved in the development of structural components for the CSeries aircraft.
Bombardier also recently announced that the company is now conducting virtual flights with „Aircraft 0″(i) – the on-the-ground Integrated Systems Test and Certification Rig (ISTCR) for the CSeries aircraft at Mirabel, Quebec. The avionics, electrical, flight control, fly-by-wire, hydraulic, landing gear and wiring systems are all commissioned, and systems integration and communication have been successfully demonstrated.
Other rigs being used during the ground test phase are: the Engineering Flight Simulator (ESIM) designed and built by CAE and now being installed at the Mirabel ground testing facility; the avionics Systems Integration Test Stand (SITS) and the Flight Controls Integration Lab (FCIL), which are already commissioned at Rockwell Collins' and Parker Hannifin’s facilities respectively; and the Interior and Environmental Control Systems (ECS) rig which is being completed at Mirabel.
About CSeries aircraft
Designed for the growing 100- to 149-seat market, the 100 per cent new CSeries aircraft family combines advanced materials, leading-edge technology and proven methods to meet commercial airline requirements in 2013 and beyond. Powered by Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1500G engines, the CSeries aircraft family will offer a 15(ii) per cent cash operating cost advantage and a 20(ii) per cent fuel burn advantage. The CSeries aircraft’s clean-sheet design will permit the aircraft to achieve greatly reduced noise and emissions, as well as superior operational flexibility, exceptional airfield performance and a range of 2,950 nm (5,463 km)(ii). The CSeries aircraft will be up to 12,000 lbs (5,443 kg)(ii) lighter than other aircraft in the same seat category and will provide passengers with a best-in-class, widebody cabin environment in a single-aisle aircraft.
Bombardier has booked orders and commitments for 352 CSeries aircraft. The order book includes firm orders for 138 CSeries airliners from Braathens Aviation (five CS100 and five CS300 aircraft), Deutsche Lufthansa AG (30 CS100 aircraft), Korean Air (10 CS300 aircraft), Lease Corporation International Group (17 CS300 and three CS100 aircraft), PrivatAir (five CS100 aircraft), Republic Airways (40 CS300 aircraft), an unidentified major network carrier (10 CS100 aircraft), an unidentified European customer (10 CS100 aircraft) and a well-established, unidentified airline (three CS100 aircraft). The CSeries aircraft program has also booked options for 124 aircraft and purchase rights for 10 aircraft from these customers. In addition, the CSeries aircraft program has achieved a conditional order placed by an unidentified customer for five CS100 and 10 CS300 airliners, as well as three letters of intent: for up to 30 CSeries aircraft from Ilyushin Finance Co; for up to 15 CS300 aircraft from Atlasjet; and for up to 20 CS300 aircraft from airBaltic.
The 13 customers that have joined the CSeries aircraft program – nine with firm orders – include major network carriers, national carriers, premium airlines serving city centre airports, a low-cost airline, leasing companies and a full service provider to airline partners.