Bombardier is near to announcing a firm date for the first test flight of its new CSeries commercial jetliner. The date is expected to be announced at the company’s annual meeting this Thursday. As of now, reports the Montreal Gazette, the intention is to achieve that first flight test by the end of June. It had originally been scheduled for the end of 2012 but was pushed back.
If Bombardier does proceed with the test flight in late June, it could coincide with one of the world’s premier aviation trade events, the Paris Air Show. This would put the spotlight on the new aircraft and guarantee the aviation world’s attention at a fiercely competitive event in a fiercely competitive industry.
The CSeries, which Bombardier has called a breakthrough airliner in terms of its range and fuel efficiency, is more than a little important to the company’s future. Share prices in the company have been languishing, according to reports, and a weak first quarter is expected to be announced on Thursday. The success of the first test flight could give investors renewed confidence in the aircraft maker’s ability to make the CSeries program profitable. The company’s targets are to earn between $5 billion and $8 billion in additional revenues in five years. As of the end of 2012, Bombardier reported orders for 148 of the CSeries jets.
Bombardier does not want to experience the lengthy delays that plagued the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which delivered its first orders three years late, only to see those first few deliveries grounded for months by unexplained battery fires.