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Sep 17, 2013

CSeries first flight: Never mind the jet, check out the engines

When the new Canadian regional jet, the CSeries 100 made its first flight overnight it was probably the revolutionary engine that caught the ears of airline industry at large more than the airliner.


CSeries 100 prototype completes its first flight: Bombardier photo

The first flight of Bombardier’s all new regional jet the CSeries100 at Mirabel outside Montreal overnight also debuted a revolutionary geared turbo fan engine that promises to slash emissions and noise more than conventional powerplants.

That engine, designed and made by Pratt & Whitney, is claimed to be of far wider application than the CSeries 100 and its -300 stretch which are built for short to medium range regional flights like those flown today by the smaller versions of the 737 and A320 families and the 717s and F100s and F70s also operated by Australian airlines.

During the takeoff shown live by the site linked above this was a truly quiet engine. A larger thrust version of the P&W ‘Purepower’ engine is offered as an option on the forthcoming Airbus A320 NEO or new engine option line up, in competition with a CFM Leap-X design which while advanced, is more conventional in its design.

This engine may prove to be a substantial advantage for Airbus in competition with Boeing’s competing 737 MAX series, which sits too close to the ground to fit the P&W GTF engine, if it turns out that it has a clear cost and emissions advantage over the rival engine being offered by the Franco-American CFM consortium which is the sole engine maker for current and future 737s.

The industry focus on the engines on the CSeries may not of course be everthing that Bombardier could wish for. It wants to sell many hundreds of the two CSeries models, but to date, has only 177 orders than can be considered locked in, and it needs more if it is to be a viable competitor to the other major regional airliner player, Brazil’s Embraer and its E-jets.

And re-engined and much refined versions of those E-jets, which are due to enter service from late 2017, also use the P&W GTF engines, meaning Bombardier needs some big sales today if possible.

More about the CSeries and its first flight, including photos and videos, can be found here.



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3 thoughts on “CSeries first flight: Never mind the jet, check out the engines

  1. jeremyp

    So ground clearance is really the sole reason that limits this engine design from the 737 Max? I’m curious why they couldn’t fit a taller landing gear to compensate? I realize that adjusting the landing gear wouldn’t be simple, but it seems amazing to limit the 737 Max in that way…

  2. COTOS

    Yes how easy would it be to put longer struts on the wheels and its done… I dont know but then they probably wont retract in the same space, then you’d have to redesign the wing, it would change the turning circle, even the handling of the aircraft on ground & take off, re train crew- & the gazillion support equipment around the world already at that height would change, maybe have to re cert the a/c as a different type & family. Nah make the engine maker earn their money. At least the costs can be passed on to the customers eitherway.

  3. Doug Fraser

    A shame the corporate-video Muzak drowned out the sound of the engines…


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