Bombardier Aerospace announced today that the prototype CRJ1000 NextGen jetliner, serial number 19991, made its successful inaugural flight from the Bombardier facility at Mirabel, Québec.
The flight, crewed by pilots Jacques Thibaudeau and Chuck Ellis and flight test engineer Eugene Lardizabal took off at 10:02 a.m. EDT and lasted three hours and 25 minutes. It reached an altitude of 30,000 feet (9,144 m) and a maximum speed of 260 knots (481 km/h).
“We put the gear up, operated the flaps and slats and exercised our new ‘Fly-by-Wire’ rudder,” said Mr. 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, Kansas 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.”
The CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft program has attracted a total of 63 firm orders, conditional orders and options, from four airlines. Brit Air (a subsidiary of Air France) has ordered eight aircraft and holds options on an additional eight. Myair.com in Italy ordered 15 aircraft, converting an earlier order for 15 CRJ900 jets to the CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft. Adria Airways of Slovenia has ordered one aircraft, and also holds one option. An undisclosed customer has ordered 15 CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft, with a conditional order for 15.
A world-leading manufacturer of innovative transportation solutions, from commercial aircraft and business jets to rail transportation equipment, systems and services, Bombardier Inc. is a global corporation headquartered in Canada. Its revenues for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2008, were $17.5 billion US, and its shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD). Bombardier is listed as an index component to the Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America indexes. News and information are available at www.bombardier.com.
Bombardier, CRJ, CRJ1000, CRJ900 and NextGen are trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries.
Notes to Editors
Photos of the CRJ1000 aircraft’s first flight are available in the press release section at: www.bombardier.com