Bombardier Aerospace has begun assembly of the first Flight Test Vehicle (FTV1) for the all-new CSeries airliner. Bearing Serial Number 50001, FTV1 is located at the company’s manufacturing facility at Mirabel, Québec.
Bombardier Aerospace, Belfast manufactured the centre fuselage for FTV1, while the forward and aft fuselage sections, as well as the cockpit, were supplied by Bombardier’s St-Laurent, Québec facility. The rear barrel was supplied by Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC), a subsidiary of the state-owned aviation
industrial entity, China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC).
Bombardier has also received the first CSeries aircraft wings from Belfast and they have been mated to the test airframe that will be used during the Complete Airframe Static Test (CAST). Bombardier Aerospace, Belfast is responsible for the design, manufacture and integration of the advanced composite wings for the CS100 and CS300 jets, including all flight control surfaces and high-lift systems.
The use of composites in such a large structure as the wing provides weight savings, but additional benefits to customers include fewer inspections and therefore lower maintenance costs thanks to the corrosion-resistant properties and fatigue strength of the composite material. The composite manufacturing process being employed at Bombardier Aerospace, Belfast also permits
a high degree of accuracy and smoothness to minimize drag and reduce fuel burn.
As in the production of the CSeries aircraft’s wings, Bombardier has capitalized on its expertise in composites technology in the aircraft’s aft fuselage. For the aft fuselage and pressure dome, the company is utilizing Automated
Fibre Placement (AFP) techniques. Bombardier’s adaptation of AFP technology, which is also using robotics technology, has benefited from the largest collaborative aircraft structures demonstration project initiated by Canada’s National Research Council to advance AFP use in the aerospace industry.
The carbon-fibre wings for both the CS100 and CS300 aircraft have an approximate area of 1,209 square feet (112.3 m2) and a span of 115 feet 1 inch (35.1 m). While some of the internal parts of the wings of the two models are different, they have the same aerodynamic profile.
In other CSeries aircraft developments, testing of the avionics, electrical, flight control, fly-by-wire, hydraulic, landing gear and wiring systems for the CSeries aircraft, as well as virtual flights, continue at Mirabel on “Aircraft 0” (Aircraft Zero) the on-the-ground Integrated Systems Test and Certification Rig
“The CAST, FTV1 and ‘Aircraft 0’ are all key elements in the testing and development of the CSeries aircraft and we are delighted with the progress on each of these three test programs,” said Rob Dewar, Vice-president and General Manager, CSeries, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “‘Aircraft 0’ is permitting us to validate the CSeries aircraft’s systems in an efficient, on-the-ground setting that allows us to work seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Our findings will allow us to optimize the time spent in the flight test program. The integrated systems tests on ‘Aircraft 0’ are designed to mitigate risks and provide the necessary reliability before first flight. To date, tests have shown no unexpected results and all is going as planned.”
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