MONTREAL (AP) -- Bombardier's CSeries aircraft completed its maiden flight in a successful test run of a new narrowbody airplane.
Thousands of employees, suppliers and invited guests cheered as the CS100 plane lifted off at Mirabel airport north of Montreal on Monday. It landed about 2 1/2 hours later. Bombardier Aerospace president Guy Hachey says the CSeries is the world's first new narrowbody design in 26 years.
The first 110- to 125-seat CS100 is slated to enter into service in about a year, barring delays, which analysts say is likely.
Montreal-based Bombardier, the world's third-largest maker of civilian commercial aircraft, has said it hopes to capture half the global market of the 100-to-149-seat planes, and has marketed the plane as being 20 percent more fuel-efficient than the comparable Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 family of aircraft.
The CSeries is critical to Bombardier Aerospace, which has spent years designing the advanced-technology jet. Bombardier has had 177 firm orders for the CSeries.
The $3.5 billion program has employed about 800 engineers and design officials to date, but hiring will soon begin as some 3,500 workers assemble the aircraft in Mirabel. Plans call for between 120 and 240 planes a year being built with parts from Belfast, Northern Ireland, and China.