Airbus and Boeing have set bad examples for the CSeries, it seems, with The Montreal Gazette reporting that Bombardier management has decided "that a three- to six-month delay for the start of flight testing would be within acceptable bounds, especially in relation to Airbus’s A380 and Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, both of which came in several years late."
The Gazette has published a lengthy report on the CSeries' status, noting that, as of Oct. 20, there are only "Seventy-two days. Ten weeks. Roughly 1,730 hours" to Bombardier's "self-imposed and oft-repeated" deadline to fly the aircraft by the end of the year. And that the firm's "overriding commitment, far more significant than first flight" - entry into service by the end of 2013 - is "another daunting task."
The Financial Post and other media, meanwhile, have reported on a visit by two Canadian analysts, arranged by Bombardier, to the CSeries mid- and rear-fuselage supplier, SACC in Shenyang, China. The visit followed the decision to move mid-fuselage work from SACC to Bombardier's Belfast plant to keep the program on track.
The news is mixed. The analysts remain skeptical of the CSeries flying on time, but they do not see SACC holding up entry into service. “If however [entry into service] occurs on time (or relatively close), the risk will shift to production rate requirements of SACC, and its ability to meet those requirements remains a (longer-term) concern for us,” said RBC Capital Markets analyst Walter Spracklin.