CSeries performance improvement demystified

By Bjorn Fehrm

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July 6, 2015, © Leeham Co. Bombardier presented a slew of new data for their CSeries aircraft during Paris Air Show. Listening to Bombardier (BBD) officials it sounded like there was only positive news: increased range, better fuel economy, better field performance and lower per seat costs.

We have commented on the released information in two articles when at the Paris Air Show, “Bombardier makes it official: CSeries exceeds advertised numbers” and “CSeries range even better than Bombardier revealed.” We now follow up these articles with an analysis of the furnished figures to reveal how these improved performance figures were achieved.

Aircraft programs use sophisticated modeling tools to understand what performance a finished aircraft will have. A 10% range increase with standard payload from 2,950nm to 3,300nm does not come from any miscalculations with such tools. Nor does it come from claimed lower fuel consumption due to lower airframe drag alone.

There are other contributing factors. Using our proprietary model to identify the factors, we explain how BBD has achieved the claimed higher performance.


  • We analyze where the range increase come from and how it affects other performance parameters
  • We also analyze where the improved per seat costs of the CSeries comes from. Lower aircraft costs or other factors?
  • Finally we look at the promised future performance improvements and discuss where these are to find and if they are plausible.

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