From the BBD press conference: It will be months before acoustical testing is complete. Today took off with reduced thrust. Cost of the program now approaching $4bn, up from $3.5bn. Flight test program will be around 2,400 hours. Very “clean” flight today. No issues with customers regarding penalties due to nine months of delays.
My guess is that the C-series will do just fine. All the pessimisme aside, even if the plane would not be up to specs, or not 100% the right size, or competitors slashing prices, availability issues at other manufacturers will be in favor of Bombardier. Congrats to Bombardier with their achievement!
What is striking, but not surprising, is the number of American suppliers for the CSeries. But the Montreal Gazette forgot to mention the most complex parts of the fuselage: the cockpit and the aft section (where the vertical and horizontal stabilizers interface). Both sections are made in Montreal at the St-Laurent facility, which has been specializing in cockpits and aft fuselages for several decades. The Liebherr facility near Montreal was not involved in aerospace products until it was decided that the German designed landing gear would be assembled in Canada.
The supplier architecture for the CSeries resembles the one for the Dreamliner. The engine pylons are both designed and fabricated by Spirit; same thing for the horizontal and vertical stabilizers which come from Alenia; the 787 cockpit is made in a former Boeing facility whereas the CSeries cockpit is made in an old Bombardier facility; the 787 wings are outsourced to Japan and the CSeries wings are “insourced” to Ireland; both Boeing and Bombardier had problems early on with the fuselage supplier(s). The 787 and CSeries share an almost identical Pro Line Fusion avionics suite. I can imagine that had Boeing elected to carry on with the NSA it would probably have been very similar to the CSeries, only bigger.
Today my thoughts go to one resident of Seattle who played a vital role in the early development of the CSeries: Gary Scott. Without his contribution I wonder where the CSeries would be today. As a former general manager of the 737 programme, Bombardier was able to benefit from his vast experience with commercial aircraft.