Bombardier CSeries

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Bombardier, BD-500 CSeries CS300, C-FFDK - SIAE 2015 (18887460245).jpg
CSeries CS300 prototype with the gear almost retracted
Role Narrow-body jet airliner
National origin Canada
Manufacturer Bombardier Aerospace
First flight 16 September 2013[1]
Introduction 15 July 2016 with Swiss Global Air Lines[2]
Status In production
Primary users Swiss Global Air Lines
Produced 2012-present
Number built 13 as of December 2016[3]
Program cost US$ 5.4 billion as of February 2015[4]
Unit cost
CS100: US$ 76.5 million
CS300: US$ 85.7 million[5]

The Bombardier CSeries or C Series (officially BD-500-1A10 [CS100] / -1A11 [CS300])[6] is a family of narrow-body, twin-engine, medium-range jet airliners by Canadian manufacturer Bombardier Aerospace.

The 108 to 133-seat CS100 made its maiden flight on 16 September 2013, was awarded an initial type certification by Transport Canada on 18 December 2015 and entered service on 15 July 2016 with Swiss Global Air Lines.

The 130 to 160-seat CS300 first flew on 27 February 2015, received an initial type certification on 11 July 2016 and the first one entered service with launch customer airBaltic on 14 December 2016.


Regional Jet expansion[edit]

BRJ-X concept

When Fokker, which produced the Fokker 100 100-seat short-haul aircraft, was in difficulty, discussions were initiated with Bombardier on 5 February 1996. After having reviewed and evaluated the opportunities and challenges Fokker represented at the time, Bombardier renounced its acquisition on 27 February.[7] On 15 March, Fokker was declared bankrupt.

On 8 September 1998, Bombardier launched the BRJ-X, or "Bombardier Regional Jet eXpansion", a larger regional jet than the Canadair Regional Jet due to enter service in 2003. Instead of 2–2 seating, the BRJ-X was to have a wider fuselage with 2–3 seating for 85 to 110 passengers, and underwing engine pods.[8] It was abutting the smallest narrow-body jetliners, like the 2–3 DC-9/MD-80/Boeing 717 or the 3–3 A318 and 737-500/737-600. At the end of 2000, the project was shelved by Bombardier in favour of stretching the CRJ700 into the CRJ900.[9]

Meanwhile, Embraer launched its four-abreast, under-wing powered E-jets for 70 to 122 passengers at the Paris Air Show in June 1999, which made its maiden flight in February 2002 and was introduced in 2004. Airbus launched its 107-117 passengers A318 shrink on April 21, 1999,[8] which made its first flight in January 2002, as Boeing had the 737NG-600 first delivered in September 1998.

Feasibility study[edit]

CSeries 2-3 seating

Bombardier appointed Gary Scott on 8 March 2004 to evaluate the creation of a New Commercial Aircraft Program.[10] Bombardier launched a feasibility study for a five-seat abreast Cseries at Farnborough Airshow in July 2004 to replace aging DC-9/MD-80, Fokker 100, Boeing 737 Classic and BAe-146 with 20% lower operating costs, and 15% lower than aircraft produced at the time. The smaller version should carry 110 to 115 passengers and the larger 130 to 135 passengers over 3,200 nautical miles.[11]

Bombardier's Board of Directors authorized marketing the aircraft on 15 March 2005, seeking firm commitments from potential customers, suppliers and government partners prior to program launch. The C110 was planned to weigh 133,200 lb (60,420 kg) at MTOW and have a length of 114.7 ft (35 m), while the C130 should be 125.3 ft (38.2 m) long and have a 146,000 lb (66,226 kg) MTOW. It would have 3-by-2 standard seating and 4-abreast business class, 7 ft (2.1 m) stand-up headroom, fly-by-wire and side stick controls. 20 percent of the aircraft weight would be in composite materials for the center and rear fuselages, tail cone, empennage and wings. First flight was planned for 2008 and entry into service in 2010.[12]

In May 2005, the CSeries development was evaluated at US$2.1 billion, shared with suppliers and partner governments for one-third each. The Government of Canada would invest US$262.5 million, the Government of Quebec US$87.5 million and the Government of the United Kingdom US$340 million (£180 million), repayable on a royalty basis per aircraft.[13] The UK Government contribution is part of an investment partnership for the location of the development of the wings, engine nacelles and composite empennage structures at the Belfast plant,[14] where Bombardier bought Short Brothers in 1989.

The CSeries' cross section was designed to give enhanced seating comfort for passengers, with features like broader seats and armrests for the middle passenger and larger windows at every seat to give every passenger the physical and psychological advantages of ample natural light.[15]

On 31 January 2006, Bombardier announced that market conditions couldn't justify the launch of the program, and that the company would reorient CSeries project efforts, team and resources to regional jet and turboprop aircraft. A small team of employees were kept to develop the Cseries business plan, and would include other risk-sharing partners in the program.[16]

Program launch[edit]

CSeries display model, presented during the 2008 Farnborough Airshow.
The PW1500G turbofan under the CSeries wing

On 31 January 2007, Bombardier announced that work on the aircraft would continue, with entry into service planned for 2013.[17] In November 2007, Bombardier selected the Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan, now the PW1000G, already selected to power the Mitsubishi Regional Jet, to be the exclusive powerplant for the CSeries, rated at 23,000 lb thrust (102 kN).[18]

On 22 February 2008, the Board of Directors authorized Bombardier to offer formal sales proposals to airline customers of the CSeries family, providing 20% better fuel burn, and up to 15% better cash operating costs versus similarly sized aircraft produced at the time, with the interest of Lufthansa, Qatar Airways and ILFC.[19]

On 13 July 2008, in a press conference on the eve of the opening of the Farnborough Airshow, Bombardier Aerospace formally launched the CSeries, with a letter of interest from Lufthansa for 60 aircraft, including 30 options, at a US$46.7 million list price. The aircraft fuel efficiency would be 2 litres per 100 kilometres (120 mpg‑US) per passenger in a dense seating. The final assembly of the aircraft would be done at Mirabel, wings would be developed and manufactured at Belfast and the aft fuselage and cockpit would be manufactured in Saint-Laurent, Quebec.[20] The fuselage should be built by China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC)'s affiliate Shenyang Aircraft Corporation.[21]

Bombardier estimated the market for the 100- to 149-seat market segment of the Cseries to be 6,300 units over 20 years, representing more than $250 billion revenue over the next 20 years, and expects to capture up to half of this.[22]

The new Pratt & Whitney engine should yield 12 percent better fuel economy than existing jets while being quieter, with further improvements from the airplane aerodynamics and lightweight materials.[23] The 15% better cash operating costs come from the engines and high use of composite materials,[21] like the wide-body Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A350 XWB.

In November 2009, the program was estimated at $3.5 billion, shared with suppliers and governments.[24]

Ghafari Associates was retained to develop the Montreal manufacturing site to accommodate CSeries production.[25]


AirBaltic CS300 cockpit

The CSeries programme has several major suppliers, including Shenyang Aircraft (centre fuselage), Alenia Aeronautica (composite horizontal and vertical stabilisers), Fokker Elmo (wiring and interconnection systems), C&D Zodiac (interiors), Parker Hannifin (flight control, fuel and hydraulics systems), Liebherr-Aerospace (air management system), United Technologies Corporation (air data system, flap and slat actuation systems, and engine nacelles), and Rockwell Collins (avionics).[26][27][28]

The CSeries aircraft will use the Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics suite, an integrated cockpit system which incorporates 15 inch displays, with comprehensive navigation, communications, surveillance, engine-indicating and crew-alerting system (EICAS), and aircraft maintenance systems.[29]

The composite wings are manufactured and assembled at a purpose built factory at the Bombardier Aerostructures and Engineering Services (BAES) site in Belfast, Northern Ireland.[30] A section of the fuselage is also manufactured at the Belfast site.[citation needed] The rest of the airframe is built in Montreal, Quebec, Canada; the aircraft is also assembled in Montreal.[citation needed]


In March 2009, Bombardier redesignated the C110 and C130 respectively CS100 and CS300. The models were offered in normal and extended range (ER) versions, additionally, an extra thrust (XT) version of the CS300 was also offered.[31] The ER and XT versions were removed in 2012 by Bombardier, providing a standard range equal to the one previously identified as extended range.[32]

In January 2010, JP Morgan reported that Bombardier was considering a 150-seat version of the CSeries. Bombardier called the report speculative, noting that the CSeries development program "is in the joint definition phase where we will be able to add greater product definition and that includes the ability to make changes before the final design is frozen".[33]

AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes and others during the presentation of a proposed 160-seat version of the CS300 airliner

At the Farnborough Airshow in July 2012, Bombardier started discussions with AirAsia about a proposed 160-seat configuration for the CS300 airliner.[34] In November 2012, this configuration was included in the CS300 project, although AirAsia rejected this proposal.[35]

In May 2015, Wall Street Journal's Jon Ostrower reported that Bombardier was studying a CS500 further stretched variant to compete with the core 160 to 180 seats versions of the Boeing 737 and A320 airliners, but development has not been committed to yet.[36]

Program schedule[edit]

In November 2009, first flight was expected in 2012.[37] In 2010, deliveries of the CS100 were planned to start in 2013, and CS300 deliveries were to follow a year later.[38]

In February 2012, the first CS100 delivery remained scheduled for the end of 2013.[39] In March 2012, Bombardier precised the target date for the first flight as the second half of 2012.[40] In June 2012, Bombardier reaffirmed this first flight should happen before the end of the year and the entry into service by 2013.[41]

During a conference call in November 2012, Bombardier Aerospace acknowledged a delay of six months, for both first flight to June 2013 and entry into service of the CS100 one year later, due to issues with some unspecified suppliers.[42]

On 20 February 2013, the CSeries PW1500G variant of the Pratt & Whitney PW1000G was granted certification by Transport Canada.[43]

Flight testing[edit]

CSeries CS100 Flight Test Vehicle (FTV1) out of the factory in June 2013

An extensive update on the CSeries program was presented on 7 March 2013; the first "flight test vehicle" (FTV) was displayed in an almost completed state, along with three other FTVs in various states of assembly and confirming the 160-seat "Extra Capacity" version of the CS300, featuring two sets of over wing emergency exits.[44] The electrical system of the first flight test aircraft was successfully powered up in March 2013 and tests on the static test airframe proceeded satisfactorily and on schedule.[45]

In June 2013, due to upgrades of the aircraft's software and final ground testing, Bombardier shifted the timeline for the first flight into July 2013.[46] On 24 July 2013, due to a longer than expected system integration process, the first flight was delayed into "the coming weeks".[47] On 30 August 2013, Bombardier received the flight test permit from Transport Canada, granting permission to perform high speed taxi testing and flight testing.[1]

The first CS100 after its maiden flight

On 16 September 2013, the CS100 made its maiden flight from Mirabel Airport.[48][49] Over 14,000 data points were gathered on this first flight, and after some reconfigurations and software upgrades, the aircraft flew for the second time on 1 October 2013.[50] On 16 January 2014, the planned entry-into-service date was delayed again, due to difficulties with certification flight testing, by at least 12 months, to the second half of 2015; the CS300 was still to follow approximately six months after the CS100.[51]

On 29 May 2014, one of the four test aircraft suffered an uncontained engine failure. The test program was suspended until an investigation of the incident could be completed.[52] The incident kept Bombardier from showcasing the CSeries at the week-long 2014 Farnborough Airshow, one of the most important events for the aerospace and defence industry.[53] In August 2014, after slashing its workforce, Bombardier changed the management overseeing the still-grounded aircraft.[54]

Flight testing was resumed on 7 September 2014, after the engine problem had been identified as a fault in the lubrication system.[55] Bombardier chairman Laurent Beaudoin stated that the CSeries is expected to be in commercial service in 2016.[56]

A major consequence of the delays has been cancellations, including the orders from the Swedish lessor.[57] On 20 February 2015, CSeries CS100 aircraft had completed over 1,000 flight test hours.[58]

Bombardier CS300 prototype C-FFDK in testing

On 27 February 2015, the CS300 prototype took off for its maiden flight at Bombardier's facility at Montreal Mirabel International airport in Quebec.[59] Test flight results showed the aircraft exceeds noise, economic and performance guarantees which may allow for longer range than advertised.[60]

The fifth CS100 first flew on 18 March 2015.[61] On 27 March 2015, Bombardier stated that Canadian certification for the CS100 should come in late 2015 with entry into service in 2016.[62] At the 2015 Paris Air Show, Bombardier released updated performance data, showing improvements with respect to the initial specifications.[63]

On 20 August 2015, Bombardier disclosed it had completed over 80% of the required certification tests for the CS100.[64] On 14 October 2015, Bombardier disclosed it had completed over 90% of the required certification tests for the CS100 and that the first production CS100 aircraft would soon commence function and reliability tests.[65] The CS100 completed its certification testing program in mid-November 2015.[66] On 25 November 2015, Bombardier completed the first phase of its route proving capabilities, with a 100% dispatch reliability.[67]

After a development process that cost US$5.4 billion to December 2015, including a US$3.2 billion writeoff, the smallest model in the series, the 110-125 seat CS100 received initial type certification from Transport Canada on 18 December 2015.[68] At the time, the company had 250 firm orders and letters of intent, plus commitments for another 360, but most of these were for the CS300 model, expected to be certified by the summer of 2016. The first CS100 is expected to be in service with Lufthansa's subsidiary Swiss by mid-2016.[69][70]

The final prototype, Flight Test Vehicle 8 (FTV8), the second CS300, made its first flight on 3 March 2016.[71]

Program support[edit]

In October 2015 Airbus confirmed that they had turned down Bombardier's offer to sell a majority share of the CSeries to them. Bombardier then said they would explore alternatives. Just days before, the Government of Quebec reiterated that it would be willing to provide Bombardier with financial aid, should the company request it. Richard Aboulafia, Teal Group vice president of analysis, and a long-time critic of the CSeries, indicated that the cancellation of the program and coverage of losses by the Canadian federal government were both likely.[72][73][74]

On the other hand, Bombardier said it was fully committed to the CSeries and had the financial resources in place to support the program.[75]

On 29 October 2015, Bombardier took a $3.2 billion writedown on the CSeries. The incoming federal Canadian government indicated that it would reply to Bombardier's request for $350 million in assistance after the new Liberal government takes power in early November.[76] On the same day, the Quebec government invested $1 billion in the company to save the struggling programme.[77]

A Scotiabank report in early November 2015 indicated that the company and the program would probably need a second bailout, and that even then the CSeries would probably not make money. Scotiabank analyst Turan Quettawala said, "we believe that the writedown corroborates our long-held view that the CSeries is not going to be value accretive under any scenario."[78]

In April 2016, the Federal government offered an aid package to the company without divulging the amount or conditions it imposed. On that date, some media reported that Bombardier had rejected the offer,[79] but an unnamed source advised Reuters that in fact, negotiations were still underway. On 14 April 2016, Bombardier shares were at a six month high based on then-unconfirmed rumours that Delta had ordered CSeries jets.[80]

The company continues to request a $1 billion aid package from the federal government.[81]

Certification and entry into service[edit]

The CSeries was introduced at Swiss

US Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency certification for the CS100 was granted in June 2016.[82] The first CSeries, a CS100, was delivered to Swiss Global Air Lines on 29 June 2016 at Montréal–Mirabel International Airport.[83][84] Swiss began revenue flight on 15 July 2016 with a flight between Zurich and Paris.[2][85] Bombardier targets a 99% dispatch reliability at entry into service.[86] After four months of service with Swiss, this goal seems to have been met based on only three aircraft and 1,500 hours flown; "nuisance messages" from the integrated avionics suite and the PW1000G start-up delays have been the main griefs.[87]

airBaltic became the first operator of CS300 in December 2016

The CS300 aircraft was awarded its type certificate by Transport Canada on 11 July 2016.[88] The CS100 and CS300 were awarded a common type rating on November 23, 2016 from EASA and Transport Canada, allowing pilots to qualify on both types interchangeably.[89] Its was first delivered to AirBaltic on 28 November 2016.[90][91] Revenue service began on 14 December 2016 with a flight from Riga to Amsterdam in a 145-seat two-class configuration, the same date it was awarded type validation by the FAA.[92] airBaltic announces a 2600 l/h fuel consumption for its CS300 against 3000 l/h for its Boeing 737-300 with similar capacity.[93]

Upon introduction, both variants are performing above their original specifications and the CS300 range is 2% better than the brochure, as are its per seat and per trip cost. Production will ramp from seven CSeries deliveries in 2016 to 30-35 aircraft in 2017 after Pratt & Whitney PW1000G supply and start issues are resolved.[94]

Production could increase to 90-120 aircraft per year by 2020.[95]


Bombardier CSeries CS100 and CS300 illustration with front, side and top views

The Bombardier CSeries aircraft will contain a high usage of composite materials and larger windows.[96] The CSeries cabin will feature large, rotating overhead storage bins, allowing each passenger to stow a sizeable carry-on bag overhead.[96] Compared to the cabins of current in-service narrowbody aircraft, the CSeries is to provide airlines with the highest overhead bin volume per passenger and a wider aisle that would allow for faster boarding and disembarkation of passengers.[96]

The CSeries aircraft contain 70% advanced materials comprising 46% composite materials and 24% aluminium-lithium. Bombardier announced in total 15% lower seat-mile costs, 20% fuel burn and CO2 emissions advantage, a 25% reduction in maintenance costs and 4x smaller noise footprint compared to in-production aircraft.[32]

Orders and deliveries[edit]

Net orders and deliveries (cumulative by year)
As of 15 March 2017[97][98]

The Bombardier CSeries family has the following numbers of firm orders and delivered aircraft, as of 15 March 2017:[97][98]

Type Ordered Delivered
CS100 123 6
CS300 237 2
Total 360 8
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Total
Net orders 0 50 40 43 15 34 61 0 117 0 360
Deliveries[98] 7 1 8


The CS100 is to compete with the Embraer E195-E2 while the CS300 is to compete with the Boeing 737 MAX 7, Airbus A319neo, and Irkut MC-21-200.[99]

The effect of stiff competition and production delays was apparent in early 2016. On 20 January, United Continental Holdings ordered 40 Boeing 737-700 aircraft instead.[100] Aside from ready availability of aircraft already in full production, the purchase of Boeing vs. the Bombardier CSeries was financially prudent. Since United already flies 310 of the 737, there will be savings for pilot training and fewer spare parts will need to be stocked. Boeing also reportedly gave United a massive 73% discount on the 737 deal, dropping the price to $22 million per aircraft,[101] well below the CS300 market value at $36 million.[102] In November 2016, United deferred this order to save $1.6Bn in CAPEX or $26 million per 61 aircraft.[103]

David Tyerman, an analyst with Canaccord Genuity offered the following assessment of the impact of this news to the Toronto Star: "This just shows how difficult it is for Bombardier to win orders these days. It’s not the end of the world, but this loss illustrates what they are up against. It also raises the question of how profitable the next C Series order they win will be for them."[104]

On 17 February 2016, Air Canada signed a letter of intent with Bombardier for up to 75 CS300 aircraft as part of its narrowbody fleet renewal plan. This comprised 45 firm orders, plus options for an additional 30 aircraft. It includes substitution rights to CS100 aircraft in certain circumstances, with deliveries to occur from late 2019 to 2022.[105] The $3.8 billion order for 45 CS300 aircraft was finalized on 28 June 2016.[106]

On 28 April 2016, Bombardier and Delta Air Lines announced a sale for 75 CS100 firm orders and 50 options, the first aircraft should enter service in spring 2018.[107] Airways News believe that a substantial 65 to 70% discount off the $71.8 million list price was provided making the final sale at $24.6–28.7 million price per aircraft; this large order from a major carrier could help Bombardier to break the Boeing/Airbus duopoly on narrowbody aircraft.[108] With those 127 firm orders in early 2016, introduction should be with a firm backlog of more than 300 orders and up to 800 aircraft including options, conditional orders, letters of intent and purchase rights; they imply an onerous contract provision of around $500 million, $3.9 million per order.[109]


Bombardier CSeries Brochure[32]
CS100 CS300
Cockpit crew 2 pilots
Passengers 108 (8F + 100Y) to 133 (1-class) 130 (12F + 118Y) to 160 (1-class)
Seat pitch 28 in (71 cm) in max. density
to 36 in (91 cm) in 2-class
28 in (71 cm) in max. density
to 38 in (97 cm) in 2-class
Seat width 18.5 in (47 cm) to 20 in (51 cm)
Length 114 ft 9 in / 35.0 m 127 ft 0 in / 38.7 m
Wingspan 115 ft 1 in / 35.1 m
Wing Area 1,209 sq ft / 112.3 m²
Height 37 ft 8 in / 11.5 m
Fuselage diameter 12 ft 2 in / 3.7 m
Cabin width 129.0 in / 3.28 m
Cabin height 83.0 in / 2.11 m
Cabin length 77 ft 10 in / 23.7 m[110] 90 ft 1 in / 27.5 m[111]
Cargo volume 838 cu ft / 23.7 m³ 1,116 cu ft / 31.6 m³
MTOW 134,000 lb / 60,781 kg 149,000 lb / 67,585 kg
MLW 115,500 lb / 52,390 kg 129,500 lb / 58,740 kg
Maximum Zero Fuel Weight[6] 111,000 lb / 50,349 kg 123,000 lb / 55,792 kg
Maximum cargo 8,000 lb / 3,629 kg 10,700 lb / 4,853 kg
Maximum payload 33,350 lb / 15,127 kg 41,250 lb / 18,711 kg
Operating Empty Weight 77,650 lb (35,221 kg) 81,750 lb (37,081 kg)
Fuel capacity[a][6] 38,875 lb / 17,630 kg 37,950 lb / 17,213 kg
Maximum range 3,100 nmi / 5,741 km[b] 3,300 nmi / 6,112 km
Cruise speed, maximum Mach 0.82 (470 knots / 871 km/h)
Cruise speed, typical Mach 0.78 (447 kn / 829 km/h)
Take off run at MTOW 4,800 ft / 1,463 m[110] 6,200 ft / 1,890 m[111]
Landing field length at MLW 4,550 ft / 1,387 m[110] 4,950 ft / 1,509 m[111]
Service ceiling 41,000 ft / 12,497 m[6]
Engines Pratt & Whitney PW1500G
Fan diameter 73 in (185 cm)[113]
Thrust per Engine PW1519G (CS100) : 18,900 lbf / 84.1 kN
PW1521G : 21,000 lbf / 93.4 kN
PW1524G : 23,300 lbf / 103.6 kN
PW1525G : 23,300 lbf / 103.6 kN
  1. ^ at 0.809 kg/l (6.75 lb per US gal) 2.2046 lb per kg
  2. ^ from London City Airport: 2,350 nmi (4,352 km)[112]

See also[edit]

Current and future generation regional jets and small narrowbodies, based on CAPA and Bombardier
Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists


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