Diamond Back at NBAA
Diamond Aircraft, of London, Ont., is coming out of the financial crunch that resulted from the 2008 bank crisis and is attending the National Business Aviation Association convention in Las Vegas. It’s the first visit to NBAA in more than five years and the company used it to introduce its new DA62 twin-engine diesel to North America.
It’s also showing a DA40 Tundra single designed for rough runway use and a DA-42 diesel-powered twin.
CEO Peter Maurer made headlines at NBAA by suggesting the mothballed D-Jet program has a chance of revival.
Maurer told FlightGlobal that the D-Jet was never cancelled, just mothballed awaiting investment.
“We have never given up on the program,” Maurer told the publication. “We still have the same commitment and vision for the jet family that we did in the beginning and are continuing to look for suitable partners to see it all the way through.”
The program was halted in 2013 but there are three flyable prototypes. The D-Jet is a single-engine “personal” jet but Maurer said the next incarnation may be as a twin.
He said the market has changed a twin might be a better idea “in the current climate.”
Flight Testing Complete For CS100
Bombardier has completed certification flight testing for its CS100 airliner and is in the last phase of the certification program.
The test article is now on a tour of North America, landing at dozens of airports in Canada and the U.S. for the functionality and reliability portion of the program.
But the testing that counts is over and now Transport Canada must review the reams of reports from more than 1,000 test flights to determine if the aircraft is ready for sale and use by customers.
Bombardier expects that to happen before the end of the year and the aircraft to enter service in early 2016 with SwissAir.
Meanwhile, the company is talking with high-ranking officials of the Trudeau Liberal government about taxpayer support to finish the program and get all models on the market. The Quebec government agreed in principle to invest up to $1 billion from its pension fund. It’s believed Bombardier is looking for the feds to match the investment.
Flying Colours Honoured by Bombardier
Peterborough-based Flying Colours has been named an authorized service facility for Bombardier Global 5000 and Global 6000 business aircraft.
Bombardier gave the MRO and completions specialist “heavy” status to enable it to work on the large-cabin jets.
Meanwhile, Flying Colours’ Chesterfield Missouri facility, already a heavy ASF, was named the top service centre in North America by Bombardier at its NBAA display on Wednesday.
“It is the first time we have been eligible for this so we are hugely honoured to win, especially given the intense competition in the North American market,” said Troy Funk, vice president of technical services.
The Missouri facility was acquired by Flying Colours several years ago and it became a Bombardier ASF in 2012.
Kickstarter Campaign For Lanc
The Alberta Aviation Museum has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise almost $90,000 to restore an historic Lancaster to running condition.
The aircraft, one of 430 Lancs built at Victory Aircraft in Malton, Ontario toward the end of the Second World War, has been on outdoor static display in Edmunston, New Brunswick, since it was retired by the RCAF in 1964.
After war service, it was modified into a surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft and was used to spy on the Russians in the North during the Cold War.
The Edmonton museum wants to restore it to its operating condition as a surveillance aircraft. It would be the only example of that variant of the Lancaster after the Greenwood Military Air Museum in Nova Scotia reversed the modifications on a similar Lanc to restore it to its wartime configuration.
The Kickstarter campaign will supply a fraction of the cost of the Alberta museum’s project. Just moving the giant airplane to Alberta is expected to cost $200,000 and the full restoration will be in the millions.
All worth it, according to museum spokesman Steve Finkleman.
“We are hoping to be able to start up the engines and let people hear the growl of these Rolls Royce Merlin engines,” said Finkleman. “It’s sort of those lost sounds of World War II that these generations really won’t hear again and won’t hear anywhere else except on these old war birds.”