The service entry in Canada at the end of March of Bombardier’s Challenger 850 corporate shuttle, just one year from its launch here at EBACE 2005, highlights what the manufacturer reckons is the ideal solution for companies that need to move groups of employees among operational sites without the time penalty associated with airline travel today.
Manufacturers should be required to determine if engine restart capability exists when core rotation speed drops to zero after high-power, high-altitude flameouts, according to the NTSB. For airplanes susceptible to engine core lock, manufacturers should be required to provide design or operational means to ensure restart capability.
French-speaking Canadian province Quebec claims to be the world’s sixth-ranking player in aerospace after the U.S., France, the UK, Germany and Japan. But Quebec’s aerospace industry has seen setbacks over the past year, with Montreal-based Bombardier nearly abandoning its C-Series airliner project, suspending production of its 50-seat CRJ200 regional jet and making a poor showing in the 70- to 90-seat segment and the 90- to 100-seat market.
The crash of Comair Flight 5191 in the early morning darkness of August 27 has given pause to the entire aviation community. As investigators grapple with the question of how an experienced CRJ100 crew could blast down an unlit, 3,500-foot runway without looking at so much as their heading, safety experts are becoming convinced that technology might have broken the chain of events that led to the crash.
Northwest Airlines won approval from the DOT in late September to launch Compass Airlines, a new wholly owned regional subsidiary to which Northwest plans to assign at least 36 Embraer E175s. Northwest bought the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for the operation from the defunct Independence Air and wants to use it to launch service with a single CRJ200 between Minneapolis and Washington Dulles Airport.
After a two-year period that saw Bombardier lay off thousands of aerospace workers, divest itself of aviation and non-aviation assets, close a key service center (in Indianapolis) and consolidate business aircraft manufacturing, the company’s board of directors last month acted on the recommendation of its human resource and compensation committee to fire CEO Paul Tellier.
Comair’s flight attendants last month voted to accept a new five-year contract that would pay new cabin crew about 20 percent less than current employees, moving Comair one step closer to meeting its cost-cutting goals and adding 35 regional jets starting next month. The extra capacity will mean another 350 flight attendant jobs and guarantee existing workers their scheduled pay raises over the life of the contract.
Embraer and Bombardier each collected significant orders late last month for their respective regional jets, the Brazilian manufacturer from Saudi Arabian Airlines for 15 dual-class Embraer 170s and the Canadian airframe maker from Northwest Airlines for 15 fifty-seat CRJ200s. Embraer’s sale marked its first from the Middle East, a potentially lucrative market where regional networks remain largely undeveloped.
Twilight has fallen unceremoniously on the heyday of the 50-seat regional jet, and Bombardier’s October 28 announcement that it would suspend production of the CRJ200 only underscored that fact. Of course, the recent bankruptcies of Northwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Independence Air haven’t helped, but signs of a meltdown came long before any CRJ operators stopped deliveries or started grounding airplanes.
On August 31 the NTSB officially recommended that the FAA require Bombardier to revise the maintenance procedures for the Canadair CRJ 200 so that the aileron free play check is accomplished at an interval less than 2,973 flight hours to prevent flight with aileron free play greater than the maximum limit.