The new 160-seater, single-aisle aircraft boasts of an enhanced cabin design with bigger and wider seats, larger over-head cabins and windows as well as a broader aisle.
Therefore, “it offers wide-body comfort in a narrow-body aircraft,” asserts Bombardier’s Product Marketing Manager Raymond Manougian.
The seats, too, provide more elbow room with the middle seats being 19 inches wide and aisle and window seats being 18.5 inches wide.
The windows in the aircraft are as big as those on the Boeing 777, 50 per cent larger than an Airbus 320 and 26 per cent larger than a Boeing 737, claims Bombardier. This translates into more natural light inside the aircraft as well as allows an aisle-seat occupant to enjoy the view outside better.
The aisle is roomier, too, with a width of 20 inches, allowing a passenger to walk past a food trolley.
The overhead storage cabins are 10 cm lower (as compared to a Boeing 737) and are opened upwards unlike most other aircraft where the lid has to be pulled down. The new design allows passengers easier access to the storage. However, lower height also means you could bump your head into it.
Minister of civil aviation Jayant Sinha too was given a tour of the aircraft. He tweeted before that, “Will be viewing the @Bombardier aircraft and meeting their executives to discuss #UDAN and RCS.”
The government’s regional connectivity scheme (RCS), aims at taking flying to the masses with fares capped at Rs 2,500 per hour of flight as well as connecting tier-2 and tier-3 cities.
The C-series includes two models — CS100 and CS300 — which have 20 per cent less fuel burn as compared to classic generation aircraft, claims Bombardier.
It consumes two litres of fuel per passenger per 100 km, according to its website leading to 18 per cent reductions on per-passenger costs, it said.
The seats of the aircraft are set up in a 2-3 layout for economy and 2-2 layout for first class.
The aircraft is 6,000 kgs lighter, translating into lower fuel burn, owing to its design material.
“For the first time in a single-aisle aircraft, the wings are composite and the fuselage is made of aluminium-lithium. Therefore, it is 10 per cent lighter but 250 per cent more resistant to corrosion and 40 per cent stronger in fatigue,” says Manougian.
These features mean that the plane requires maintenance after a longer interval. Generally, older generation aircraft require a B-check after 750 hours and C-checks after 7,500 hours. But this requires B-check in 850 hours and C-checks in 8,500 aircraft.
“So, the aircraft spends more time in the air flying and generating more revenue for the airline as opposed to spending time on routine checks,” the product marketing manager said.
Bombardier has more than 350 orders globally for its C- series aircraft and its clients include — AirBaltic, Swiss and Delta Air.
Among the domestic carriers SpiceJet is the only airline which has 20 of Bombardier’s Q-400 aircraft in its fleet. The airline recently signed an agreement to buy 50 more of these planes.