Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Bombardier CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft makes inaugural flight

Bombardier CRJ1000Bombardier 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 aircraft took off at 10:02 a.m. EDT and flight lasted three hours and 25 minutes. According to Bombardier, it reached an altitude of 30,000 feet (9,144 m) and a maximum speed of 260 knots (481 km/h).

On board the CRJ1000 were pilots Jacques Thibaudeau and Chuck Ellis and flight test engineer Eugene Lardizabal.

“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.”

According to Bombardier, the prototype CRJ1000 NextGen jet will be flown to the Bombardier Flight Test Center in Wichita, Kansas after a few more flights from Mirabel. Next year, it will be joined in Wichita by the first production CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft 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.

Bombardier says that 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. 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.

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