“In the past we liked to fly. It takes a lot of discipline to make sure the aircraft is in the right configuration so that when we fly, we get certification,” says Dewar, adding, “We measure test points, not flights.
“We do more testing on the ground, so flight is a validation,” he says. “We planned an extensive flight-test program, but we may be able to reduce that.” The original plan is for 2,400 hr. of flight tests with five CS100s.
“We do not fly just to fly. There has to be earned value from flying, to get the check marks [against certification tasks],” says Hachey. “And from the perspective of earned value I am happy with our progress.”
Bombardier is in discussions with risk-sharing partners and suppliers as it reevaluates the CSeries, he says, to understand the maturity of their systems and components.
There will be an impact on program costs from any further delay in service entry, but Hachey says non-recurring cost for CSeries development is still $3.4 billion ($3.9 million including interest expense).
But some of the extra costs are being allocated to other accounting “buckets” within the program. “There has been a move between recurring expenses—what goes on the aircraft itself—versus non-recurring,” he says.
“So yes, there’s been movement among the buckets. But when I look the total business case [for the CSeries] and what we anticipate to sell in the marketplace over the life of the program, we’re still well within what we anticipated—the return on investment we’re looking for,” Hachey says.
“What’s important is that for us the business case still makes sense. We are very close to entry into service—we’re a year or so away in terms of the flight-testing program—and we still feel very comfortable with the business case,” he adds.