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CSeries takes off in Paris

Bombardier yesterday (June 15) unveiled its CSeries to the world with the bold claim that it had not only met its design goals for fuel burn, range and cash operating costs, but that it had exceeded them. "How many new aircraft beat their launch design targets?" vice-president, Rob Dewar asked the assembled crush of journalists in Le Bourget. "None? Well now there are two," he crowed.

According to Bombardier, in flight tests the CSeries has shown a greater than 20 per cent reduction in fuel burn and a more than 15 per cent reduction in operating costs - helped no doubt by the increased range, up 649km to 6,112km, and increased capacity.

The CS100 now offers up to 133 seats, from 125 in the design, and the CS300 160 seats, up from 145.

Launch customer SWISS agreed that in comparison to the Avro RJ aircraft the CSeries will replace when it finally enters into service next summer, Bombardier's jet offers a 20 per cent cut in fuel burn and, more importantly, a 50 per cent reduction in noise levels.

This will enable the carrier to use the CSeries on routes to inner city airports, confirmed CEO Harry Hohmeister.

Alongside offering fuel savings and improved costs, the CSeries also offers "best in class" maintenance intervals, Todd Young, vice-president of customer services at Bombardier, told talking point in an exclusive interview with MRO Network following the press conference yesterday.

He confirmed that the interval between A checks is 850 hours and between C checks is 8,500 hours, saying that the maintenance of the aircraft had been considered at every stage of the design process.

"We have been fully integrated with the product development work packages and we've been able to provide the 'in service voice' to the aircraft," he said.

Young went on to discuss how Bombardier has significantly developed its IT service offering to help CSeries customers.

The approach is taking two forms - the first is the creation of a new electronic fault isolation manual (eFIM) a tool which in the past has been a paper-based product.

"In the past you would have to flick through pages and pages. So now it's all electronic, it has a graphical interface, so very intuitive. It can be run on a desktop, laptop or tablet, and that gives the maintenance crew or engineering teams the ability to try and troubleshoot the aircraft instantaneously," he said.

"It is a knowledge based tool, so we are working to build up the cases - so when the aircraft enters service, we will already have a wealth of knowledge already inputted into the system and then our operators will be able to use to help them manage the aircraft in the event of a troubleshooting exercise."

The other big change is Bombardier's decision to provide a big data number crunching service.

The OEM is revamping its customer portal which will be used to track, log and manage every customer request that comes in to its customer call centre.

Bombardier is then integrating its aircraft health management system (AHMS), which will provide data on 5,000 parameters that can be downloaded automatically upon the aircraft's return to gate - or even during flight if the crew feels that there is a performance issue.

The aircraft maker is now investing heavily in the IT infrastructure to be able to cope with the vast quantities of data and provide analysis of aircraft performance and a more proactive, predictive approach to maintenance.

"We're doing the investment so our customers can buy the service from us and don’t have to do the big investment on their IT systems," said Young.

It is an approach that will no doubt be welcomed by smaller airlines and the low-cost carriers with their laser like focus on their core activity.

Look out for the full interview with Todd Young on MRO Network's website next week.

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