Bombardier's new jetliner makes maiden flight

Sept. 16, 2013 at 9:20 PM

MONTREAL, Sept. 16 (UPI) -- Bombardier's new CSeries jetliner, about 10 years and $3.5 billion in the making, made its maiden flight Monday, the Canadian company said.

Development of the CS100, which is to be larger, quieter and more fuel efficient than Bombardier's other commercial aircraft, is running behind schedule, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported. It was to have taken its first flight in late 2012.

Hundreds of Bombardier employees and company guests watched the new jet take off from Mirabel airport north of Montreal on its 2 1/2-hour flight. The aircraft, with two pilots and a flight engineer aboard, reached an altitude of about 12,500 feet and a speed of about 265 miles per hour.

"It's a very emotional day for all of us at Bombardier," said Pierre Beaudoin, the company's president and chief executive officer. "It takes a long time to develop an airplane; some [people] have been working on this for 10 years."

Chief test pilot Chuck Ellis told reporters afterward the plane performed pretty much as he and his colleagues expected.

"In many ways, we didn't learn anything new; we validated everything we did know," he said.

The crew received one unspecified "advisory message" about one of the plane's subsystems that Ellis described as a minor issue that did not affect the plane and would not have halted a commercial flight.

The test flight is one of many the aircraft will undergo before the first aircraft are delivered to customers in about a year, the CBC said.

Bombardier has said it has 177 firm orders and 211 commitments from 15 customers for the CSeries.

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