June 10, 2014 / 8:54 PM / 5 years ago

Bombardier resumes ground testing of CSeries jetliner

A plane flies over a Bombardier plant in Montreal, January 21, 2014. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

TORONTO (Reuters) - Bombardier Inc said on Tuesday it has resumed ground engine testing of its all-new CSeries jetliner after an engine failure last week and still expects the narrow-body plane to enter service in the second half of 2015.

Flight testing is expected to resume in the coming weeks, Bombardier said, but the $4.4 billion CSeries aircraft will not appear at the closely watched Farnborough Air Show in July.

“It’s positive that they’re going to get back to testing in the short term,” said Raymond James analyst Steve Hansen.

“(But) I think the bigger issue, from our perspective, is around the timing and the cost of the total program and some of the delays we’ve already seen.”

Engine maker Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies Corp, said that after tearing down and analyzing the engine, it likely understands the root cause of the problem. It declined to provide details, however, other than to say its signature gearing system was not involved.

A representative for Pratt & Whitney said the company found that “a slight design modification would allow for continued ground testing” and that it has developed a plan with Bombardier to resume flight testing in the near future.

“Now that we have a good understanding of what happened, a procedure is in place that introduces control measures to avoid such events,” Bombardier’s CSeries general manager, Rob Dewar, said in a statement.

“We are working to get back on track and today have resumed ground engine runs to return the FTVs (flight test vehicles) to flight test program safely.”

Bombardier said that damage to its flight test vehicle from the engine problem was manageable and repairs had begun.

With additional reporting by Lewis Krauskopf in New York and Cameron French in Toronto; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

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