Saturday, 28 September 2013

C-Series first flight

I somehow missed this at the time, but the Bombardier C-Series had it's first flight back on the 16th September! Bombardier's newest aircraft, the CS100 and CS300, are designed to fill the gap between the largest regional jets and the smaller A320/737 variants, competing at both ends. They will seat a maximum of 125 and 150 respectively. They also represent a leap forward in technology: the C-Series is the first narrowbody airliner to be made primarily from CFRP (Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic), and the first large airliner to use GTF engines (Geared TurboFan).

These feature gears between the fan and the compressor turbines, allowing them to run at different speeds. The front fan is more efficient at slower speeds, the compressors are better at high rpms, so the GTF increases overall efficiency significantly. The drawback is that the gears make it more expensive to produce and more moving parts means reliability is potentially affected. It seems that the GTF is the future though, with the A320neo using GTF's, along with Embraer's E2 and Mitsibushi's MRJ.

Back to the C-Series, it has 177 orders currently, the largest customers being Swiss, Republic Airways, Malmo Aviation, Gulf Air, Odyessey Airlines, Atlasjet, Porter, Korean Air, Air Baltic and Privatair. It's nice to see a new competitor in the Airbus/Boeing narrowbody duopoly!

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