Bombardier CSeries

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The CS100 prototype at Mirabel on its first flight
Role Narrow-body jet airliner
National origin Canada
Manufacturer Bombardier Aerospace
First flight CS100: 16 September 2013[1]
CS300: 27 February 2015[2]
Introduction Planned: 2nd quarter of 2016 (CS100) with SWISS[3]
Planned: second half of 2016 (CS300) with airBaltic[4]
Status CS100: in production/not yet in service
CS300: early production/test phase
Produced 2012-present
Number built 6 CS100, 1 CS300 as of November 2015[5]
Program cost US$ 5.4 billion (Feb. 2015)[6]
Unit cost
CS100: US$ 71.8 million
CS300: US$ 82.0 million[7]

The Bombardier CSeries is a family of narrow-body, twin-engine, medium-range jet airliners currently under development by Canadian manufacturer Bombardier Aerospace. The CSeries models are the 110-seat CS100 and the 135-seat CS300. These were initially named C110 and C130, respectively. In certification documentation, the CSeries family is designated Bombardier BD-500, with suffix -1A10 for the CS100 and -1A11 for the CS300.[8]

The CS100 version of the CSeries is to compete with the Embraer E195-E2. The CS300 version of the CSeries is to compete with the Boeing 737 MAX 7, Airbus A319 NEO, and Irkut MC-21-200.[9] Bombardier states the CSeries will burn about 10% less fuel per trip than these competitors.[10]

The CS100 took its first flight on 16 September 2013. The CS100 was awarded an initial type certification by Transport Canada on 18 December 2015. Entry into service for the CS100 is expected in 2016. The CS300 first flew on 27 February 2015, and is to enter service approximately six months after the CS100.



During the demise of Fokker, Bombardier considered purchasing that company in order to gain access to the Fokker 100 100-seat short-haul aircraft. Citing an irreconcilable "clash of corporate cultures", Bombardier's Executives and Board eventually decided against the purchase and ended discussions in February 1996.[11][12]

The Bombardier BRJX, or "Bombardier Regional Jet eXpansion", was a project for a larger regional jet than the Canadair Regional Jet. Instead of 2–2 seating, the BRJX was to have a wider fuselage with 2–3 seating, and underwing engine pods. It was projected to seat 80 to 120 passengers, abutting the smallest narrow-body jetliners, like the 2–3 DC-9/MD-80/Boeing 717 or the 3–3 A318/737-500/737-600. The project was shelved by Bombardier in favour of stretching the CRJ700 into the CRJ900.

Meanwhile, the 72-seat Embraer E-170 came to market (production began in 2002), followed by the 110-seat E-195. Both models were widely adopted, and Bombardier had no product to compete with them in that capacity range.


In July 2004, Bombardier announced the development of the CSeries family of airliners to replace the cancelled BRJX project. The CSeries would be larger than the current Canadair Regional Jets, and capable of carrying 110 to 130 passengers. For the first time, Bombardier would be competing directly with the smallest airliners from Boeing and Airbus. At the time, Bombardier expected the aircraft to be available by 2013.

In March 2005, Bombardier's board promoted the aircraft to airlines to gather advance orders. Two models were offered: the C110 with layouts from 100–125 seats, and the C130 with layouts from 120–145 seats. The CSeries would feature new, more fuel-efficient engines and a higher percentage of composite materials in its fuselage,[13] a strategy similar to that used on the wide-body Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A350 XWB.

The new aircraft would seat passengers in a 2–3 arrangement in coach and a 2–2 arrangement in business/first class, similar to the Boeing 717. With the 2–3 arrangement, 80% of the seats would be aisle or window seats, contrary to 'middle' seats (seats set between two other seats). The aircraft would have under-wing turbofans. The CSeries' cross section was designed to give enhanced seating comfort for passengers, with features like broader seats and armrests for the middle passenger and larger windows at every seat to give every passenger the physical and psychological advantages of ample natural light.

In May 2005, Bombardier secured agreements with the Federal Government of Canada, the Provincial Government of Quebec, and the Government of the United Kingdom for support and loans for the CSeries project. The Canadian government has committed US$350 million in financing; the British government has committed US$300 million. The program will cost about $3.5 billion, and Bombardier will share the cost with suppliers and governments.[14]

The fuselage was to be built by China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC)'s affiliate Shenyang Aircraft Corporation.[13] Final assembly of the aircraft was to be at Mirabel Airport, Mirabel, Quebec, outside Montreal.[15] Substantial portions of the aircraft were to be constructed at Bombardier facilities in Belfast, Northern Ireland.[16]

On 31 January 2006, Bombardier announced it would not go forward with plans to develop the CSeries after it had failed to secure significant orders to that point. It stated that it would keep a small team of roughly 50 employees working on the CSeries marketing plan, and would include other risk-sharing partners in the program.[17][18] With the CSeries on hold, Bombardier began work on the 100-seat CRJ1000 regional jet.

Restarting programme[edit]

CSeries display model, presented during the 2008 Farnborough Airshow.

On 31 January 2007, Bombardier announced that work on the aircraft would continue.[19] In November 2007, Bombardier selected the Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan (now PW1000G) to be the exclusive powerplant for the CSeries.[20] On 22 February 2008, the Board of Directors authorized Bombardier to offer formal sales proposals of the CSeries family to airline customers.[21]

On 13 July 2008, in a press conference on the eve of the opening of the Farnborough Airshow, Bombardier Aerospace formally launched the CSeries, with a letter of interest for 60 aircraft (including 30 options) from Lufthansa. The final assembly of the aircraft would be done at a new assembly facility to be built beside the existing one where the CRJ700 and CRJ900 are assembled in Mirabel, north of Montreal.[22] Ghafari Associates was retained to develop the Montreal manufacturing site to accommodate CSeries production.[23] The CSeries aircraft will use the Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics suite, an integrated cockpit system which incorporates 15 inch displays, with comprehensive navigation, communications, surveillance, engine-indicating and crew-alerting system (EICAS), and aircraft maintenance systems.[24]

The CSeries is designed for the 100- to 149-seat market category. Bombardier estimated this market to be 19,333 aircraft,[25] representing more than $250 billion revenue over the next 20 years. Bombardier expects to be able to capture up to half of this market with the CSeries.[26] In 2009, first flight for the CSeries was expected in 2012.[27]

In 2009, Mongolian airline Eznis Airways was reported to have signed a letter of interest for seven CSeries aircraft.[28] Qatar Airways had previously been in talks with Bombardier, but broke off talks in 2009 after disagreeing on terms.[29] An unnamed lessor was understood to be in talks for 40 aircraft.[30] On 11 March 2009, Bombardier obtained the first firm orders for the CSeries. Lufthansa, who originally had signed a letter of interest for 60 aircraft, firmed up an order for 30. The aircraft are to be operated by Lufthansa subsidiary Swiss International Air Lines.[31]

Renamed models[edit]

In March 2009 Bombardier redesignated the C110 and C130 to CS100 and CS300, respectively.[32] The models were offered in normal and extended range (ER) versions, additionally, an extra thrust (XT) version of the CS300 was also offered.[33] The ER and XT versions were removed in 2012 by Bombardier, providing a standard range equal to the one previously identified as extended range.[34]

On 30 March 2009, Bombardier signed the second CSeries order, with airliner lessor Lease Corporation International (LCI) of Dublin, Ireland ordering 3 CS100s and 17 CS300s, becoming the launch customer of the latter.[35] LCI also holds options for a further 20 aircraft.[36]

In January 2010, JP Morgan reported that Bombardier was considering a 150-seat version of the CSeries. Bombardier called the report speculative, noting that the CSeries development program "is in the joint definition phase where we will be able to add greater product definition and that includes the ability to make changes before the final design is frozen".[37]

Republic Airways Holdings ordered 40 CS300 aircraft with options for an additional 40 in February 2010.[38] In March 2010, easyJet stated that the company was having "ongoing discussions with Bombardier regarding its CSeries.[39] In December 2009, United Airlines expressed interest in using the CS100 and CS300 for replacing its retiring 737–300 and 737-500 aircraft,[40] but no plans or orders had been made by United Airlines as of December 2011.

Bombardier Aerospace announced the sale of up to 30 CS300 aircraft to Asian launch customer, Korean Air, at the 2011 Paris Air Show.

On 1 June 2011, Braathens Leasing Limited in Sweden placed a firm order for five CS100 and five CS300 aircraft with options for ten more aircraft. With the order, Bombardier had secured a combined 100 firm orders.[41] On 7 June 2011, Bombardier received a firm order from an undisclosed airline for three CSeries airliners, with options for three more.[42] On 20 June 2011, Bombardier secured a launch customer for the CS100 at the Paris Air Show. The undisclosed airline signed a firm order for 10 aircraft with an option for six more.[43] On 21 June 2011, Korean Air signed a letter of intent to purchase 10 CS300 plus an additional 10 options and 10 purchasing rights on CS300; this agreement was converted to a firm order on 29 July 2011.[44][45] On 24 June 2011, the last day of the 2011 Paris Show, Bombardier signed a deal with an undisclosed European carrier to purchase ten CS100s.[46]

On 17 August 2011, at the MAKS Airshow, Ilyushin Finance signed a letter of intent to purchase up to 30 CSeries aircraft.[47] On 15 November 2011, Atlasjet purchased ten CS300 aircraft with options for another five.[48] After considering the Airbus A319 and CS300, Latvia's airBaltic placed a firm order for 10 CS300 aircraft plus an option for 10 additional aircraft in December 2012 with deliveries to start in 2015.[49][50][51]

Recent developments[edit]

AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes and others during the presentation of a proposed 160-seat version of the CS300 airliner

The CSeries programme has several major suppliers, including Shenyang Aircraft (centre fuselage), Alenia Aeronautica (composite horizontal and vertical stabilisers), Fokker Elmo (wiring and interconnection systems), C&D Zodiac (interiors), Parker Hannifin (flight control, fuel and hydraulics systems), Liebherr-Aerospace (air management system), United Technologies Corporation (air data system, flap and slat actuation systems, and engine nacelles), and Rockwell Collins (avionics).[52][53][54] The rest of the airframe is built in Montreal, Canada; the aircraft is also assembled in Montreal.

The first flight was initially planned for the second half of 2012.[55] In 2010, deliveries of the CS100 were planned to start in 2013, and CS300 deliveries were to follow a year later.[56]

In March 2012, Bombardier specified the target date for the first flight was December 2012,[57] and reaffirmed that date in June 2012.[58] A news report in June 2012 stated that first CS100 delivery remained scheduled for the end of 2013.[58][59]

At the Farnborough Airshow in July 2012, Bombardier started discussions with AirAsia about a proposed 160-seat configuration for the CS300 airliner.[60] In November 2012, this configuration was included in the CS300 project, although AirAsia rejected this proposal.[61]

During a conference call in November 2012, Bombardier Aerospace acknowledged a delay of six months, for both first flight and entry into service of the CS100, due to issues with some unspecified suppliers.[62] This pushed the initial delivery date to customers into 2014.

On 20 February 2013, Ilyushin Finance converted the letter of intent it signed in August 2011 into a purchase agreement, subject to approval by its shareholders, for 32 CS300 aircraft.[63] On the same day, Pratt & Whitney's PW1500G was granted certification by Transport Canada.[64] The PW1500G powers the CSeries.

CSeries CS100 Flight Test Vehicle (FTV1) out of the factory in June 2013

An extensive update on the CSeries program was presented on 7 March 2013; the first "flight test vehicle" (FTV) was displayed in an almost completed state, along with three other FTVs in various states of assembly.[65][66] The 160-seat "Extra Capacity" version of the CS300, featuring two sets of over wing emergency exits, was also presented.[65]

The electrical system of the first flight test aircraft was successfully powered up in March 2013 and tests on the static test airframe proceeded satisfactorily and on schedule.[67]

CS100 after its first flight

In June 2013, due to upgrades of the aircraft's software and final ground testing, Bombardier shifted the timeline for the first flight into July 2013.[68] On 24 July 2013, due to a longer than expected system integration process, the first flight was delayed into "the coming weeks".[69] On 30 August 2013, Bombardier received the flight test permit from Transport Canada, granting permission to perform high speed taxi testing and flight testing.[1] As Bombardier planned,[70] a CS100 took the maiden flight for the model and the CSeries on 16 September 2013 from Mirabel Airport north of Montreal, Quebec, Canada.[71][72] Over 14,000 data points were gathered on this first flight, and after some reconfigurations and software upgrades, the aircraft flew for the second time on 1 October 2013.[73]

On 16 January 2014, the planned entry-into-service date was delayed again, due to difficulties with certification flight testing, by at least 12 months, to the second half of 2015; the CS300 is still to follow approximately six months after the CS100.[74]

On 29 May 2014, one of the four test aircraft suffered an uncontained engine failure. The test program was suspended until an investigation of the incident could be completed.[75] The incident kept Bombardier from showcasing the CSeries at the week-long 2014 Farnborough Airshow, one of the most important events for the aerospace and defense industry.[76]

In August 2014, after slashing its workforce, Bombardier changed the management overseeing the still-grounded aircraft.[77] Flight testing was resumed on 7 September 2014, after the engine problem had been identified as a fault in the lubrication system.[78] Bombardier chairman Laurent Beaudoin stated that the CSeries is expected to be in commercial service in 2016.[79] On 20 February 2015, CSeries CS100 aircraft had completed over 1,000 flight test hours.[80] A major consequence of the delays has been cancellations, including the orders from the Swedish lessor.[81]

Bombardier CS300 prototype C-FFDK in testing

On 27 February 2015, the CS300 prototype took off for its maiden flight at Bombardier's facility at Montreal Mirabel International airport in Quebec.[82] Test flight results showed the aircraft exceeds noise, economic and performance guarantees which may allow for longer range than advertised.[83] This was followed by the 5th CS100 on 18 March 2015.[84]

Bombardier stated that the CSeries has more than 600 orders and commitments on 17 March 2015.[85] On 27 March 2015, Bombardier stated that Canadian certification for the CS100 should come in late 2015 with entry into service in 2016.[86]

On 8 April 2015, the third largest customer, the Ilyushin Finance, said it was re-evaluating its order for up to 49 aircraft, given the delays in the program.[87]

On 7 May 2015, Bombardier and SWISS confirmed that the airline would be the launch customer and first to operate the CSeries in 2016. It was also confirmed that after almost 1,600 flight test hours, the CSeries was performing as expected.[88]

A CS500 further stretch would compete with the core 160 to 180 seats versions of the Boeing 737 and A320, but development has not been committed to yet.[89]

At the 2015 Paris Air Show, Bombardier released updated performance data, showing improvements in respect of the initially planned specifications.[90] Launch customer SWISS converted 10 CS100 from its initial order to CS300s.[91] On 17 June 2015 at the Paris Airshow, Air Baltic confirmed it will be the launch operator of the Bombardier CS300 in September 2016.[92] On 20 August 2015, Bombardier disclosed it had completed over 80% of the required certification tests for the CS100.[93]

In October 2015 Airbus confirmed that they had turned down Bombardier's offer to sell a majority share of the CSeries to them. Bombardier then said they would explore alternatives. Just days before, the government of Québec reiterated that it would be willing to provide Bombardier with financial aid, should the company request it. Richard Aboulafia, Teal Group vice president of analysis, and a long-time critic of the CSeries,[94] indicated that the cancellation of the program and coverage of losses by the Canadian federal government were both likely.[95][96] On the other hand, Bombardier said it was fully committed to the CSeries and had the financial resources in place to support the program.[97]

On 14 October 2015, Bombardier disclosed it had completed over 90% of the required certification tests for the CS100 and the first production CS100 aircraft will soon commence function and reliability tests.[98]

On 29 October 2015, Bombardier took a $3.2 billion writedown on the CSeries.[99] On the same day, the Quebec government invested $1 billion in the company to save the struggling programme.[100] The incoming federal Canadian government also indicated that it would reply to Bombardier's request for $350 million in assistance after the new Liberal government takes power in early November.[99]

A Scotiabank report in early November 2015 indicated that the company and the program would probably need a second bail out and that even then the C Series will probably not make money. Scotiabank analyst Turan Quettawala said, "we believe that the writedown corroborates our long-held view that the CSeries is not going to be value accretive under any scenario."[101]

The CS100 completed its certification testing program in mid-November 2015.[102] On 25 November 2015, Bombardier had completed the first phase of its route proving capabilities. The CS100 completed the first phase with a 100% dispatch reliability.[103]

After a development process that cost US$5.4 billion to December 2015, including a US$3.2 billion writeoff, the smallest model in the series, the 110-125 seat CS100 received initial type certification from Transport Canada on 18 December 2015.[104] At the time, the company had 243 firm orders and letters of intent, plus commitments for another 360, but most of these were for the CS300 model, expected to be certified by the summer of 2016. The first CS100 is expected to be in service with Lufthansa's subsidiary Swiss by mid-2016.[105][106]

The effect of stiff competition and production delays was apparent in early 2016. Although Delta Airlines said it was seriously looking at the Bombardier offerings, some analysts believe that Delta may be swayed by competitors offering deep discounts.[107] On 20 January, United Continental Holdings Inc. ordered 40 Boeing 737-700 aircraft instead.[108] Aside from ready availability of aircraft already in full production, the purchase of Boeing vs. the Bombardier CSeries was financially prudent. Since United already flies 310 of the 737, there will be savings for pilot training and fewer spare parts will need to be stocked. David Tyerman, an analyst with Canaccord Genuity offered the following assessment of the impact of this news to the Toronto Star: "This just shows how difficult it is for Bombardier to win orders these days. It’s not the end of the world, but this loss illustrates what they are up against. It also raises the question of how profitable the next C Series order they win will be for them."[109]


Bombardier CSeries CS100 and CS300 illustration with front, side and top views

The Bombardier CSeries aircraft will contain a high usage of composite materials and larger windows.[110] The CSeries cabin will feature large, rotating overhead storage bins, allowing each passenger to stow a sizeable carry-on bag overhead.[110] Compared to the cabins of current in-service narrowbody aircraft, the CSeries is to provide airlines with the highest overhead bin volume per passenger and a wider aisle that would allow for faster boarding and disembarkation of passengers.[110]

The CSeries aircraft contain 70% advanced materials comprising 46% composite materials and 24% aluminium-lithium which allows for a 15% lower seat-mile cost and a significant reduction in maintenance costs.[111] The CSeries aircraft will also permit a significant fuel burn advantage and noise reduction.[112] Computer software design tools were used on the project, including CATIA, HyperSizer, and similar technology that was employed in the Learjet 85 programme.[113]

Orders and deliveries[edit]

Net orders (cumulative by year)
As of 30 September 2015[114][115]

The Bombardier CSeries family of aircraft has the following firm orders, as of 30 September 2015:[114][115]

CS100 CS300 Total firm orders
53 190 243
Orders and deliveries by year[115]
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Total
Net orders 0 50 40 43 15 34 61 0 243


CS100 CS300
Cockpit crew 2 pilots
Cabin crew 3 to 5 flight attendants
Passengers 133 (maximum capacity)
120 (single class)
108 (dual class)
160 (maximum capacity)
140 (single class)
130 (dual class)
Seat pitch 28 in (71 cm) (maximum capacity)
32 in (81 cm) (single class)
36 in (91 cm) & 32 in (81 cm) (dual class)
Seat width 18.5 in (47 cm) standard seat
19 in (48 cm) middle seat
20 in (51 cm) business class seat
Length 35.0 m (114.8 ft) 38.7 m (127 ft)
Wingspan 35.1 m (115 ft)
Wing Area (net) 112.3 m2 (1,209 sq ft)
Tail height 11.5 m (38 ft)
Fuselage max diameter 3.7 m (12 ft)
Cabin width 3.28 m (10.8 ft)
Cabin height 2.11 m (6.9 ft)
Cabin length 23.7 metres (78 ft) 27.5 metres (90 ft)
Cargo volume 23.7 m3 (840 cu ft) 31.6 m3 (1,120 cu ft)
Maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) 60,781 kg (133,999 lb) 67,585 kg (148,999 lb)
Maximum landing weight (MLW) 52,390 kg (115,500 lb) 58,740 kg (129,500 lb)
Maximum cargo payload 3,629 kg (8,001 lb) 4,853 kg (10,699 lb)
Maximum payload (total) 15,127 kg (33,349 lb) 18,711 kg (41,251 lb)
Maximum range 5,741 km (3,567 mi; 3,100 nmi) 6,112 km (3,798 mi; 3,300 nmi)
Cruise speed, maximum Mach 0.82 (870 km/h, 470 kn, 541 mph)
Cruise speed, typical Mach 0.78 (828 km/h, 447 kn, 514 mph)
Take off run at MTOW 1,219 m (3,999 ft) 1,524 m (5,000 ft)
Landing field length at MLW 1,356 m (4,449 ft) 1,463 m (4,800 ft)
Service ceiling 12,497 m (41,001 ft)
Engines Pratt & Whitney PW1500G
Thrust per Engine 84.1 kN (18,900 lbf) – PW1519G
93.4 kN (21,000 lbf) – PW1521G
103.6 kN (23,300 lbf) – PW1524G
103.6 kN (23,300 lbf) – PW1525G*
93.4 kN (21,000 lbf) – PW1521G
103.6 kN (23,300 lbf) – PW1524G
103.6 kN (23,300 lbf) – PW1525G*

* Provides up to 5% additional thrust for non-static conditions

Bombardier released the following performance specifications, regarding operations from urban airports with short runways and steep approaches, like London City Airport and Toronto Island Airport.

Urban operations
CS100 CS300
Maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) 54,885 kg (121,001 lb) 59,874 kg (132,000 lb)
Maximum landing weight (MLW) 51,029 kg (112,500 lb) 56,472 kg (124,499 lb)
Maximum payload (total) 13,767 kg (30,351 lb) 16,670 kg (36,750 lb)
Maximum range 3,148 km (1,700 nmi; 1,956 mi)

See also[edit]

A seating capacity graph for CSeries and comparable airliners. In blue the CSeries, in grey similar in-service airliners, and in orange similar in-development airliners.
Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists


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