CSeries test flights to resume by the end of June: Bombardier chairman

Bombardier chairman Laurent Beaudoin says the CSeries jetliner will resume test flights by the end of June, ending a one-month delay in crucial testing needed to get the airplane certified.

Speaking to reporters following the annual meeting of recreational products company BRP, Beaudoin said it was “comforting” that the identified problem was a component of the engine, rather than the geared turbofan’s new fuel-efficient design.

“They know exactly where the problem came from and they will make the necessary changes and our planes will start flying by the end of the month,” he said.

The aircraft has been grounded since an engine incident May 29 damaged the first test airplane.

Beaudoin said the incident shouldn’t delay deliveries of the commercial jet set for the second half of 2015.

“This incident delayed us about a month but it’s something we can make up for (in) deliveries,” he said.

Beaudoin acknowledged confidence in Bombardier has been affected.

“Yes, but what do you want? That’s why we do tests.”

Ground rests on the jetliner resumed Tuesday for the first time since the incident, after which the engine in question was shipped to manufacturer Pratt & Whitney in Connecticut for analysis. The Canadian Transportation Safety Board also opened an investigation.

Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) has said it believes the engine failure occurred in the low-pressure turbine of an engine that was “known to have problems.”

The manufacturer has been running stationary tests on other systems, including electrical and avionics in the last week and has begun to repair the first test flight airplane, describing the damage as “manageable.”

The CSeries won’t make an appearance at the Farnborough Air Show in mid-July.

Four CSeries aircraft has flown nearly 330 hours of testing, well short of the 2,400 required to receive Transport Canada certification. The company expects to get some credit for ground testing and anticipates flight hours will pick up as a total of seven test airplanes, each with different missions, take to the air.