C Series Aircraft: Pilots Like What They're 'C-ing'

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Many pilots like the security and familiarity of a cockpit they've worked in for years. But at a recent media briefing held at Bombardier's Paris Air Show pavilion, two pilots with two different airlines said they were excited about taking the C Series up for the first time.

"It was like feeling home, feeling comfortable," said Capt. Sven Thaler, deputy flight chief, C Series for Swiss International Air Lines.

"When we finally had the chance to fly the aircraft, it was a day to remember. It was a highlight of my career," said Capt. Pauls Calitis, senior vice president, flight operations, airBaltic.

Bombardier and Swiss International Air Lines celebrated the C Series first revenue flight almost a year ago. airBaltic followed a few months later with the larger CS300. Since then, new orders keep coming. The aircraft is filled with products from UTC Aerospace Systems, including nacelles, and is powered by Pratt & Whitney's PW1500G Geared Turbofan™ engines. Both pilots agree – the engines are quiet and highly fuel-efficient.

"From inside the aircraft, I was like, 'Hey, do we have engines?' There is no engine noise inside the aircraft, you just hear the air conditioning, and that's it," Thaler said.

"That's the reason why we went for this aircraft. This is a clean-sheet design and bringing the game to a different level. We were expecting high savings, and the savings we've achieved is even better than planned," Calitis said.

Another positive in 2017 for Bombardier is that the aircraft will land at London's City Airport. It's a huge convenience to travelers, and it's becoming a reality because of the aircraft's low noise and low emissions.

"Traffic to London City – it's a very important market for us. We have a lot of business traffic from Zurich to London City," Thaler said.

The C Series is a new, sleek aircraft providing what pilots like most – confidence in their airplanes.

"I'm proud to be a pilot for Swiss, and proud of being an operator of a Swiss C Series program and the first operator of CS100," Thaler said.

"It's also unique to be involved in a new aircraft program," Calitis said, "and at the end of the day, what better job than to see the sun rising or setting depending on where you are going?"