Bombardier's CSeries: Test confirm fuel efficiency claims
- December 11, 2001
Tests on Bombardier Aerospace’s much talked-about CSeries aircraft prove what the company has claimed all along: this new “green” aircraft is indeed a fuel efficient design that offers a 20 per cent fuel burn advantage and significantly reduced emissions.
A three-phase wind tunnel test program, completed November 1, supports the company’s design predictions that the CSeries, created for the growing 100 to 149-seat market, delivers a “step-change in fuel efficiency.”
Validation of the CSeries aircraft’s aerodynamic design included extensive use of state-of-the-art Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), made possible through the use of contemporary super-computers that are significantly more capable and 100,000 times faster than computers available when the aircraft currently serving the 100 to 149-seat market were designed. These tools permitted the minimization of interference drag and also facilitated the design of the engine nacelle and thrust reverser.
To simulate actual flying conditions, the wind tunnel tests were conducted with more than 20sophisticated scale models over more than 4,500 testing hours at facilities in Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the US.
“Simulated conditions during the wind tunnel tests closely correlate to real world flying conditions and the resulting data were used to improve and validate final CSeries aircraft design and systems,” says David Tidd, vice president, CSeries Integrated Product Development, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “This latest achievement for the CSeries aircraft represents the most extensive and complex wind tunnel testing that Bombardier has ever conducted; it marks another key advance in the jetliner’s development.”
The scale models of the CSeries jetliner used in the testing were equipped with precise instrumentation to measure air flow, including as many as700 pressure-sensitive ports over the wings, fuselage and tail. The models included moving parts, such as wing flaps and leading edge slats, which could be repositioned to reflect actual flying events. Some models were equipped with miniature air-driven turbine engines to gauge the air flow interference with the aircraft wings. The largest of the models, at 13.7 per cent scale, had a wingspan of approximately 4.5 metres (15 feet).
Using the scale models and the environmental conditions possible in the wind tunnels, Bombardier engineers were able to simulate the aerodynamics of the CSeries aircraft in various flight scenarios such as landing, take-off and cruising at high altitudes.
The CSeries aircraft family will offer a 15 per cent cash operating cost advantage and a 20 per cent fuel burn advantage; greatly reduced noise and emissions; as well as superior operational flexibility, exceptional airfield performance and a range of 2,950 nm (5,463 km). It will also provide passengers with widebody-style seating in a single-aisle aircraft.
Bombardier has booked firm orders for a total of 133 CSeries aircraft, including 61 CS100 and 72 CS300 aircraft. The CSeries aircraft program has also booked options and purchase rights for an additional 129aircraft.
Top image: CSeries aircraft wind tunnel model undergoing high-speed tests at a facility in Germany