China is headed to COMAC 919 TC and PC
Canada has a 2022 goal for certificating the Bombardier Challenger 3500
How will global certification respond to Diminution of Relationships from 2019 disturbances
Two sovereigns are tasked with certificating two new aircraft types. Up until 2019. China will exercise its domestic airworthiness powers and its international bilateral aviation responsibilities in authorizing the design and manufacture of the COMAC 919. Canada now is scheduled to exercise its domestic statutory duties and to issue the documentation to support other countries’ recognition of the safety of the Bombardier Challenger 3500.
In 2019 there was an international, trusted network among the certification authorities to accept the TCs and PCs of their peer organization. The events of March of that year put this assumption into question. The judgments being made were not addressed to Canada or China, but the moves made on that level of the aeropolitical chessboard cast shadows on the other relationships of aviation planes.
The COMAC 919 and the Bombardier Challenger 3500 will pose important tests of the global airworthiness cooperation. Watch this space as the processes move forward. Will the concerns, grudges, disagreements and lack of trust among these civil servants harm the process? Will the political bosses try to use these otherwise ministerial decisions for “diplomatic” agenda?
The first COMAC C919 jet, destined for launch customer China Eastern Airlines, is set to enter final assembly. The aircraft will be assembled roughly a decade on from the production of the prototype in late-2011. The first C919 is now set for delivery to China Eastern by the end of 2021.
First COMAC C919 in final assembly
According to the Civil Aviation Administration of China ( 中国民用航空局 CAAC), Chinese plane manufacturer COMAC has entered the first C919 jet into final assembly. COMAC is now set to make good on its target of delivering the first C919 by the end of 2021.
Despite significant delays in the C919 program, COMAC hopes to deliver the first plane this year and obtain production certification to mass-produce the plane. It is also still in the process of acquiring its airworthiness certificate, which it expects to go through by the end of the year.
Certification board meeting
The CAAC’s C919 certification board met in Shanghai on Friday to review COMAC’s reports on batch production. The C919 has yet to receive certification from China’s aviation authority, with COMAC expecting to secure certification by the end of the year….
The board also approved of tweaks to the aircraft’s production certification proposals without going into the details. This certificate is necessary for the C919 to enter into mass production. Presently, the aircraft is being produced on a more limited batch production basis. With over 300 orders to be fulfilled, COMAC expects to receive the production certificate within the year.
Bombardier has dropped the curtain on a cabin mock-up of a refreshed version of its Challenger 350 super-midsize business jet – a new variant called the Challenger 3500, for service entry in the second half of 2022.
The company revealed the Challenger 3500 development programme on 14 September during an event at the jet’s production facility in Montreal.
Bombardier is giving the Challenger a modern cabin – complete with features standard on larger-cabin aircraft like the manufacturer’s Globals. It is also making a few technical changes. Those include reducing the Challenger’s cabin-pressure altitude and equipping the jet with its first auto-throttle system.
The 3500’s performance specifications remain unchanged from the 350, which entered service in 2014. The 3500 will be a 10-passenger jet powered by twin Honeywell HTF7350 engines, with 3,200nm (5,926km) of range and top speed of March 0.83. The 3500 will cost $26.7 million.
“We are raising the bar on our competition with a refreshed product,” says Bombardier chief executive Eric Martel. Business jet manufacturers often promote the range and speed of their products. But, at the end of the day, a jet’s “cabin is the most important”, Martel insists.
The 3500 programme marks renewed attention by Bombardier to the super-midsize segment following several years during which it focused heavily on its Global line of large-cabin business jets. Bombardier recently divested its commercial aviation businesses and intends to end production of Learjets next year, changes that will align Bombardier solely to the medium- and large-cabin segments, which it says are the most-profitable and fastest-growing in the business jet market.
“We have been leading that market segment,” Martel says of the medium-cabin arena. “The changes we are making now will keep us leaders in that position for a long time.”
The 3500’s technical changes include the auto-throttle system and a reduced cabin-altitude pressure. When cruising at 41,000ft, that pressure will be equivalent to 4,850ft – about 2,000ft less than the 350’s cabin-altitude pressure. Bombardier can make the change by reinforcing the jet’s baggage-compartment bulkhead, says manager of sales engineering Mathieu St Cyr.
“We are pumping more air into the bubble,” he adds. “At 41,000ft, it is going to feel as if you are sitting on the ground in Denver.”
“What we are doing today is a major improvement. Technology is evolving so fast,” Martel says.…
The jet’s flight-test programme will be “carbon neutral” (via use of carbon offsets and sustainable aviation fuel, also known as biofuel), and Bombardier will offer the aircraft with cabin materials that have less negative environmental impact. Those include veneer made from eucalyptus (a fast-growing tree that requires little water) and upcycled wool and polyester. Upcycled materials can include those discarded during manufacturing, such as polyester clippings.
The 3500 will also be the first super-midsize jet sold with an “Environmental Product Declaration”, a document summarising its “complete environment impact”, Bombardier says. The company introduced that document with the 7500.
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