CSeries Delayed Again

Bombardier has pushed the first delivery date of the CSeries airliner back by several months to sometime in 2015 because it says the aircraft needs more testing.

Bombardier's CSeries airliner took its first flight Monday.
Bombardier’s CSeries airliner took its first flight in September.

The plane flew for the first time in September but hasn’t racked up many hours since then. Bombardier hasn’t said specifically why but it’s believed that most of the issues surround the complex software required to run its systems. That theory gained some traction with a statement by Mike Arcamone, president of Bombardier’s commercial aircraft division that suggested the hardware is working fine.

“We are taking the required time to ensure a flawless entry into service. We are very pleased that no major design changes have been identified. This gives us confidence that we will meet our performance targets,” he said.

A second test aircraft had its first flight on Jan. 3 and a third one will be ready in a few weeks. Bombardier sent the first aircraft to its Learjet facilities in Wichita to escape the unusually harsh winter in Quebec. That should all add up to vastly accelerated test program.

The bad news was tempered by a firm order from a Saudi airline for 16 CSeries. The order is worth more than $1 billion.