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CSeries flight test program halted by Bombardier after GTF engine failure
Aaron Karp May 30, 2014

Bombardier CSeries flight test aircraft FTV1
Courtesy, Bombardier
Bombardier has grounded the CSeries flight test program while it investigates an engine failure that occurred May 29 on flight test aircraft FTV1 during ground testing.

While Bombardier has confirmed “an engine-related incident,” Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) confirmed in a statement that “a Bombardier CS100 aircraft experienced an engine failure during ground testing.” TSB has dispatched an investigator to Bombardier’s facility in Mirabel, Quebec, where the engine failure occurred.

The CSeries is powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1500G geared turbofan (GTF) engines. Pratt spokesman Ray Hernandez told ATW that Pratt “is working with Bombardier to understand the incident that occurred on May 29. At this time, it is premature to discuss the incident in detail.”

Bombardier said in a statement that “the CSeries aircraft flight test program will resume once the investigation [into the engine failure] is completed.”

Entry into service for the CSeries has already been delayed by Bombardier to the second half of 2015. It is unclear how the May 29 engine failure will affect that timeline.

The CSeries is the first application for Pratt’s GTF program. GTF engines are also slated to power the Airbus A320neo, Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. MRJ, Embraer E-Jet E2 and Irkut MC-21.

Briefing reporters last week at Pratt’s headquarters in East Hartford, Connecticut, Pratt president Paul Adams said the CSeries “and the engine are doing extremely well” in flight testing.

There was an apparently minor incident with a GTF engine flying on Pratt’s Boeing 747SP flying testbed aircraft on April 29. “That April 29 incident in Mirabel was a minor anomaly with a test engine, which is common during flight testing,” Hernandez said. “Examination of that engine revealed that there was no apparent damage and we were able to run it again the next day.”


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