New Bombardier jet readied for possible weekend debut -sources

Wed Sep 4, 2013 7:29pm EDT
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PARIS, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Canada's all-new Bombardier CSeries passenger jet is being readied for a long-awaited maiden flight as early this weekend, possibly on Sunday, two industry sources said.

As with all such debuts, the exact timing remains unclear as crew carry out final tests and look for the weather needed to fly the first all-new airliner in its 100- to 149-seat category for decades.

But the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly, said the delayed debut could be just days away barring further glitches.

"There is a high chance that you will have some flight news this weekend, most probably on Sunday (Sept. 8)," one industry source said.

Given the stakes involved, it would not however be a surprise if the schedule slipped again by a few days, the sources said.

The debut, marking Canada's attempt to break into a market dominated by Airbus and Boeing, edged closer on Wednesday when pilots were due to start high-speed taxi trials.

But a Bombardier spokeswoman declined to comment on the timing of the maiden flight to be held in Mirabel, Quebec.

The first flight will be the culmination of a five-year, 3.4-billion development program for the CSeries.

Montreal-based Bombardier says the aircraft will be lighter and more efficient than other aircraft in the same category.   Continued...