The first production Bombardier CS100 arrived in Zurich from Montreal on 6 of March. Aircraft P1, which is in Bombardier livery and features the manufacturer’s cabin interior, is stationed in Zurich to conduct “route proving” trials in close collaboration with our own personnel.
Route proving is designed to put a new aircraft through its paces in a classic airline operating environment and rigorously check all the associated processes and procedures. For SWISS this involves operating the aircraft – with Bombardier pilots only – to and from all the destinations (apart from London City and Florence) which we aim to serve with the CSeries in its first year. P1 is flying two to four legs a day during the week, and undergoes various ground tests at the weekends. These activities will also help our downline stations to prepare for the new twinjet’s operational phase-in from this summer onwards.
Tests at Zurich
At Zurich itself the new CS100 will be handled at a range of locations including the A and B stands, the “straight” I stands and the H stands. The opportunity will also be taken to shoot a number of videos for use in training on the type. The Technical Division will be busy putting the processes and procedures they have defined into operational practice; and our ground staff will be checking out various aspects of the new CS100 handling operation, such as the space available around the aircraft during the turnaround process. Our airport partners will be closely involved here and elsewhere, too. They’ll be using their tow and pushback tractors, for instance, to gain their certification for use on the type. And various further units of our organization will be acquiring their own valuable experience with the new CS100 which they can apply this summer to ensure that its operational phase-in runs as smoothly as possible.
All the route proving flights are operated by Bombardier pilots. Our core pilot team, who have already completed their training on the type, are on board as observers. SWISS mechanics, ground services staff and members of our SWISS project team will also be able to observe the various tests. Apart from these personnel, no passengers are permitted on board. Our maintenance staff also observes on the ground throughout the day and on their night shifts, too, to further develop the training they have already received on the new aircraft type. As the first operator of the CS100, we are very excited to work so closely with Bombardier on these route proving trials, to help ensure the aircraft’s successful service entry later in the year.
Thomas Klühr aboard
SWISS CEO Thomas Klühr gained his first impressions of the new CS100 during a recent visit to Bombardier in Montreal. He was even able to experience the new twinjet in flight. He and our project team received a full update from the manufacturer on the current production status, including a visit to the final assembly line. “I was very impressed with the close collaboration between our people and the Bombardier project team,” he said after the event. “There’s still a lot to do; but the tasks ahead were explained and discussed with great openness and a clear determination to find the best solutions. And the CS100 flight, of course, was a real highlight. The plane flies beautifully, it’s incredibly quiet and I really like the cabin.” The first six SWISS CS100s are now in the final assembly line. Our first aircraft – HB-JBA – is already structurally complete. It’s currently having its systems installed, after which it will receive its cabin interior. So the delivery programme is still well on track, and we’re now all in the final straight leading up to the aircraft’s delivery.
Text: Sven Thaler, Deputy Fleet Chief CSeries, Photos: Markus Guler