CSeries out of London City Airport, Part 2. UPDATED 2017.01.24


Takeoff limitation from London City airport

LCY has a runway which is 4948ft/1,508m long. Of that distance 3934ft/1199m is usable for take-off with an additional 394ft/120m available as stopway.

It also has a requirement of a minimum climb gradient after takeoff of 6.76% when taking off in an Easterly direction (Runway 09) and 7.5% when going West (Runway 27).

Jointly, these requirements will restrict the Take-Off Weight (TOW) for a CS100. Equipped with the strongest engines (PW1535G) the TOW would go from 61 tonnes to around 58 tonnes, dependent on the temperature of the day and the runway’s wind and surface condition.

For the engines that SWISS use we, the 1533G, would need to reduce the TOW with a further one and a half tonnes.

SWISS operations

The reduced TOW will restrict the fuel that can be loaded on top of the aircraft’s empty weight and the passengers that are carried on the sector. The empty weight of a CS100 equipped for normal operations with the 125 seats that Swiss Airlines has in the cabin, would be between 36-37 tonnes.

Add to that a cabin filled with passengers with their bags to a normal load factor of 80% of the 125 seats. This equates to 100 passengers of 100kg each which add 10 tonnes payload to the empty weight. We are now at 46-47 tonnes Zero Fuel Weight (ZFW) and our limit for takeoff is 56-57 tonnes. This leaves ~10 tonnes for fuel.

The fuel available mean the SWISS CS100 has a still air range of around 1,500nm when flying out of LCY. Figure 2 shows the part of Europe that can be served with that range.

Figure 2. Range of a CS100 with 100 passengers+bags operating out of London City. Source: Great Circle Mapper.

The CS100 covers most of Europe out of London City. All Swiss’ present destinations like Zurich, Geneva, Frankfurt are comfortably within range. Popular destinations like the Mallorca Islands or Rome would be no problem. Should SWISS want to cover Greece or Istanbul this would also be possible.

Transatlantic flights

The CS100 could in a configuration with the strongest engines and a restricted passenger load serve, New York direct from London City. This is better than British Airways (BA) does today.

On the way out BA has to stop for fuel at Shannon with their all business Airbus A318, taking 32 passengers. To make the stop more acceptable the passengers can clear US customs during the stop.

The still air range of a CS100 with 42 business seats and 100% loadfactor would be around 3500nm. This would be sufficient to reach New York going West from London City. The great circle distance to JFK/Newark is 3030nm which leaves a margin of 16% for winds.

The return leg from New York would be no problem. The winds would be in the tail and the CS100 would have no problem flying the route direct (as does BA’s A318).

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