A220 Production Update and The Russians Are In Town to Train on The A220...
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2:45 (07:45 UTC) - November 12, 2018 - by Sylvain Faust for Fliegerfaust.com
The Russian "Pilots" Are Coming!
The Russians are coming to Montreal, Red Wings Airlines pilots will be training on the Airbus A220 allowing them to fly this perfect new high tech aircraft, it is so gentle and silent! (sorry Zurich).
For the occasion, Bombardier will be flying its CSeries (aka A220) flight test vehicle #7 (FTV7) from Wichita to Montreal-Trudeau Airport (YUL/CYUL). Wichita is where Bombardier Flight Test Centre team is located as well as all CSeries FTVs. - The FTV aircraft have been been the first group of CSeries aircraft Bombardier built for the objective of testing and certifying the aircraft with Transport Canada, the FAA of the United States and the EASA in Europe. On February 27, 2015 FTV7 was the first CS300 to fly, its MSN is 55001 (see picture at top of article).
I would not be surprised if there is a also training using the CAE A220 simulator in Montreal combine with "hands on" flying on the A220.
The Russians will be training with experimented pilots, that's for sure! I've heard that Charles "Chuck" Ellis himself, Bombardier Chief Flight Test Pilot, will be part of the training team. Chuck Ellis was the pilot in command of the first CSeries first flight on September 16, 2013.
See and listen to him in this video where he talks about the required preparations toward the CSeries first flight. As you remember, the aircraft was named FTV1 (Flight Test Vehicle #1) and its serial number is 50001 (CS100), the first CSeries built. The factory is located at Mirabel Airport (YMX/CYMX) north-west of the city of Montreal.
CSeries - First Flight Readiness www.youtube.com
Expect to see this aircraft (FTV7) flying "above" the province of Quebec, Canada during this whole week. Track it live now https://www.flightradar24.com/BCS3/1e88570f
You can also see it flying from Wichita to Montreal today November 12. It will be landing at Montreal Trudeau Airport (YUL/CYUL) around 3:00 PM (20:00 UTC) leaving Wichita three hours before, or around 9:00 AM Montreal time (14:00 UTC).
The Russian Red Wings Airlines did order six (6) A220-300. Those six (6) aircraft are supposed to be all delivered in 2019. For details on this transaction read this article on the Russian Aviation Insider. You want more about Red Wings Airlines? Here is their website and also the Wikipedia page about them.
A220 Production Update
We saw a few weeks ago the first delivery of the first A220 Delta ordered. It was a A220-100 serial 50020, the 20th CSeries CS100 made. Serial sequence numbers starting with "50" are CS100 and when staring with "55" are the longer CS300. Airbus renamed them to A220-100 and A220-300 respectively. Both models have their own serial number sequence, so yes, 50001 and 55001 are different aircraft, one being the first CS100 made and the other the first CS300 made, both part of the CSeries family. I know, I'm often explaining this but with the readership at Fliegerfaust.com constantly increasing, so many new followers on the Fliegerfaust Facebook page, I prefer to explain it again so everyone can appreciate the value of the information when I mention the aircraft manufacturer serial number, or MSN. In fact, thanks to you!
A220 Being Assembled in Mirabel
Currently in the process of being assembled in Mirabel, Airbus has twelve (12) A220-100 aircraft for Delta, eleven (11) with wings and one (1) without its wings attached yet. They are MSN 50021 to 50032. According to the current production schedule three (3) of them should be delivered to Delta by the end of the year for a total of four (4) in 2018, adding to the one already delivered to Delta (MSN 50020). SWISS has four (4) aircraft (two (2) A220-100 and two (2) A220-300), Korean Air has two A220-300, airBaltic has five (5) aircraft being assembled, one without its wings attached yet. Air Tanzania has two (2) A220-300. This is a total of 25 aircraft currently in the assembly line at various stage of completion. Three (3) of them are being completed by Avianor at their Mirabel Airport facility, among them Delta MSN 50024.
This is has been the same number for a long time. Why? Since neither Bombardier or Airbus built additional building at Mirabel, there is no more space for more aircraft to be process at the same time. The hangars are full! Increasing the delivery rate "today" can only be done by producing those aircraft faster. How to get more space for the A220 production? By adding new buildings and moving the CRJ production out of the Airbus A220 factory would be required. More on what Airbus is planning for Mirabel below.
Delta 2nd A220 will be MSN 50022 will be doing its first flight before MSN 50021 but to be following shortly after if all goes according to plan. The last Delta A220 delivery for the year should be MSN 50023 currently with a 2 weeks buffer on its schedule to do so.
Let's see! The total A220 aircraft to be delivered to Delta for 2018 will be of three (3) or maybe four (4), but not five (5) as I read elsewhere.
Air Tanzania is scheduled to receive their first and last ordered A220-300 before the end of the year, completing their order of just two (2) aircraft but I would not be surprised if the delivery of the 2nd aircraft is to happen in January 2019 instead of the end of December 2018, as with the Delta. The two (2) Air Tanzania A220-300 MSN are 55047 and 55048. We should see a nice animal with a long neck painted on the tail of the aircraft; yes you got it, a giraffe! In fact, MSN 55047 is currently at the paint shop for 2 more days.
A first for these two A220 would be the installation of the Panasonic KU band Internet communication system. The dome protecting the antenna on the top of the aircraft fuselage is different when compared with the one on the Delta A220, as you will see soon. As you now know, if you read my article "Things You Don't Know About The First Delta A220 / CSeries", Delta selected Gogo for its Internet and its "in flight" entertainment system for their A220.
Summary - Going Forward
From now on until the end of 2019, 7 weeks to go, Airbus is planning to deliver eleven (11) A220 aircraft for a delivery average rate of 1.57 aircraft per week. This represents an annual delivery rate of 81 aircraft. Right? Depending on how it goes until the end of 2018 and the first few weeks of 2019 we shall see if that is a delivery rate Airbus can achieve at their Mirabel, Quebec A220 factory for 2019.
Can Airbus do this? It remains to be seen. Since you've been reading all my different CSeries production updates on Fliegerfaust, aircraft deliveries were rarely as per the schedule created by the management at Bombardier, were they ever?
Talking about what Airbus can change at their Mirabel factory, Airbus is still evaluating how the A220 is being assembled. As you know, the assembly process of the A220 aircraft has been made by Bombardier (CSeries) and, obviously, differs from how Airbus does it themselves in their other aircraft assembly lines.
I will say it again; Airbus is still amazed how this factory (its workers) can deliver aircraft in the current environment.
Short term expect to see two (2) aircraft to be delivered, i.e. SWISS MSN 55044 and airBaltic MSN 55042 (last one for the year) followed "maybe" soon later by SWISS MSN 55045. Korean Air has two (2) more deliveries scheduled before the end of the year, MSN 55037 and 55049, but I honestly think that the 2nd one will be happening in 2019.
So, if you read what I wrote, that would mean that my expectation in term of number of A220 to be delivered from now on until the end of 2018 is (11-3) eight (8) aircraft. Still, with 7 weeks to go until 2019 it would mean a delivery rate of just above one aircraft per week (1.14) which would still represent a yearly delivery rate of sixty (60) A220.
In my next A220 Production Update, very soon, I will address what Airbus intends to change first at their Mirabel airport factory to help facilitate and increase the A220 production rate. There is a strong willingness to push further away the aircraft delivery process from the locations it currently occupies. But much more is being planned. Interesting things are coming! GO AIRBUS GO. Stay tuned.
I'm not going to comment on the Q400 transaction since for me this is "old news". You read my articles? Since the time I wrote the Q400 was sold to the Chinese 13 months ago in October 2017 (it has been a while since Bombardier was at work trying to sell it), and then in May 2018 why it was not sold to the Chinese but to Viking Air, Longview Aviation Capital. I wrote it a few more times since, every-time with more details, repeatedly announcing to you, my dear readers, that Longview Aviation Capital (owner of Viking Air) was going to acquire the Q400 program from Bombardier, etc. I rest my case.
What's next? CRJ… No more Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.
Stay tuned and subscribe to Fliegerfaust Free Newsletter!
Sylvain Faust, Fliegerfaust
Original Fliegerfaust.com content is Copyright Fliegerfaust.com 2018
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