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Bombardier Champions CSeries

The CSeries is going on tour through North America.
The CSeries is going on tour through North America.

Bombardier executives told an airline conference Wednesday the company is “100 percent committed” to the CSeries and continuing its aggressive certification program.

At the European Regions Airline Association meeting in Berlin, Ross Mitchell, Bombardier’s VP of commercial aircraft told a media conference the aircraft is 90 percent through certification. “The CSeries is coming to market and the airplane will be here soon. We are getting further and further with the certification,” he told the media.

It was the company leadership’s first public appearance since news last week that it was in talks with Airbus to take over a majority stake of the CSeries program. Those talks ended abruptly when word leaked out and Reuters published a story.

Mitchell didn’t want to talk about Airbus, but instead focused on the last stages of certification and a North American tour by one of the CS100 test vehicles. The aircraft will visit 15 Canadian airports and 20 in the U.S. as part of a real-world shakedown.

“We are now operating the aircraft like an airline would operate it,” Mitchell said.

There were also reports that Bombardier is in advanced discussions with some American airlines about the new airliner, whose development has strained the company in the past year. Signing a major carrier would give a much-needed boost to the program.

P&WC Joins Turkish Airliner Program

Pratt and Whitney Canada will supply engines for the TRJet.
Pratt and Whitney Canada will supply engines for the TRJet.

Pratt and Whitney Canada will develop the engines for Turkey’s first indigenous airline program.

The company will start work at its Longeuil, Quebec plant in 2016 to power the TRJet, which is an update of the Dornier 328. The type certificate is held by Sierra Nevada Corporation’s German-based subsidiary 328 Support Services and the company is described as a “major partner” in the Turkish government-led initiative.

“The collaboration between TRJet and P&WC, a world-leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines, illustrates the proven technology and aviation expertise behind the 328 and 628 aircraft series,” said Cem Uğur, an executive officer for TRJet, which is also a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sierra Nevada Corporation “which supports the Turkish Regional Aircraft Project” according to a news release.

The 32-passenger TRJet 328 will use the PW306B jet engine but there are also plans for a turboprop version of the aircraft and P&WC will develop that engine, too.

At the same time, Turkey will start designing a clean-sheet airliner it’s calling the 628, which it hopes to fly by 2023.

Dash-8 Crew Reports Drone Encounter

A Provincial Airlines crew spotted a drone at 4,000 feet.
A Provincial Airlines crew spotted a drone at 4,000 feet.

A Provincial Airlines Dash-8 came within about six metres of a drone while on a flight from Deer Lake to Gander, Newfoundland/Labrador on Monday.

Transport Canada is investigating the report from the crew.

They said they spotted a black drone about the size of a “very large bird” off their right wing.

The aircraft was at about 4,000 feet when the crew spotted the drone. Drones are not supposed to be flown above 400 feet.

Villeneuve An Honorary Snowbird

Lt. Col. (Ret'd) Fern Villeneuve became an Honourary Snowbird.
Lt. Col. (Ret’d) Fern Villeneuve became an Honourary Snowbird.

A Cold War fighter pilot who helped lay the foundation of Canada’s proud air demonstration team heritage was inducted into the Honourary Snowbird Society last week.

Lt. Col. (retired) Fern Villeneuve was the team lead for the Golden Hawks team, which used F-86 Sabres painted in distinctive gold livery. He was inducted along with Honourary Colonel John Melbourne and the former Honourary Colonel of the Snowbirds Michael Potter, owner of Vintage Wings.

The Golden Hawks were known for their aggressive low level routines that awed crowds in the late 1950s and early 1960s. They were disbanded for budget reasons but when the RCAF acquired the cheaper-to-run Tutors the momentum was still there to create a demo team.

Villeneuve was team lead for the first two seasons of the Golden Hawks but had to leave the team after he got married because the rules at the time stated that married pilots could only do two seasons with the team.

Villeneuve flew all of Canada’s Cold War fighters and was a squadron leader three times. He continued flying his Globe Swift long into retirement and is well known among fans of that aircraft.