Bombardier Aerospace has announced that the prototype CRJ1000 NextGen jetliner made a successful inaugural flight from its Mirabel, Québec facility.
The flight, crewed by pilots Jacques Thibaudeau and Chuck Ellis and flight test engineer Eugene Lardizabal, lasted three hours and 25 minutes. During that time the 100-seat aircraft reached an altitude of 9,144m and a maximum speed of 260 knots (481km/h).
Thibaudeau said: ‘We put the gear up, operated the flaps and slats and exercised our ‘Fly-by-Wire’ rudder. All systems worked as they were designed to do.’
Following more flights from Mirabel, the prototype CRJ1000 NextGen jet will be flown to the Bombardier Flight Test Center in Wichita, Kansas where, in 2009, it will be joined by the first production CRJ1000 NextGen airliner to prepare for entry into service and review by the Flight Operations Evaluation Board, composed of pilots from Transport Canada, the Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency.
The CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft, which is scheduled to enter commercial service in the fourth quarter of 2009, has so far attracted a total of 63 firm orders, conditional orders and options from four airlines.