Boeing 737 rival takes to the air for the first time Monday

Staff writerSeptember 16, 2013 

Bombardier's CS100 jet lands after its first flight Monday.

BOMBARDIER

Canadian planemaker Bombardier's new CS100 single-aisle jet took to the skies Monday in the first flight of a plane that will be a rival to the smaller versions of Boeing's 737 and Airbus' A320 aircraft.

The composite-bodied plane took off from Montreal's Mirabel Airport in a two-hour test flight that took the plane as high as 12,500 feet.

Pilots said the plane flew well.

The C Series aircraft are designed to carry 100 to 150 passengers in a single-aisle, two-engine configuration.  That puts the plane in the same size class as the Boeing 737-700 and Airbus A319.

Bombardier has 177 orders for the new plane which the manufacturer says will be 20 percent more economical than its existing rivals from Airbus and Boeing.

The Canadian manufacturer hopes that once the plane flies and enters service more orders will be forthcoming. 

Boeing's newest aircraft, the 787, has secured 853 orders.

The plane that flew Monday morning will be one of five in Bombardier's test fleet.  The plane's first flight was about  eight months later than originally scheduled because of issues with configuring its software and working out glitches with integration of aircraft systems.

The C Series will be powered by Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan jet engines, a more fuel-efficient but mechanically complex design than ungeared jets.

The Bombardier plane's first flight comes the same week Boeing is expected to put the second version of its 787 in the air for the first time.  The 787-9 is about 20 feet longer and will carry about 40 more passengers than the base version of the Dreamliner, the 787-8.

While the original Dreamliner was some three years behind schedule the 787-9 is proving to be punctual in living up to its promised marks. 

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