Today’s forecast in Montreal: Unseasonably cool and rainy with a chance of first flight. The long awaited first flight of Bombardier’s #CSeries #CS100 is now tantalisingly close. Flight Test Vehicle 1 (FTV1) first flight window opens at GMT13:30 from Montreal’s Mirabel Airport.

Yesterday, FTV1’s nosed gear lifted off the runway for the first time while undertaking high speed taxi tests in preparation for first flight. High speed taxi testing has been ongoing over the last week, with FTV1 accelerated to its V1 ‘decision speed’ of 124 knots (230 kph). Watch the high speed taxi test video below carefully. You’ll see the aircraft make some interesting movements as it the crew test flight control inputs and braking systems.

Also in preparation for takeoff, check out some of the fantastic series of videos Bombardier has produced detailing the system tests the CSeries has gone through in preparation for this historic day.

Shimmy testing (landing gear movement tests):

Gauntlet aircraft in the loop tests:

And Big Brother. The Global 5000 that will act as chase plane monitoring today’s first flight:

Bombardier has orders and commitments for 352 CSeries aircraft including 63 firm orders for the CS100 and 114 for the larger CS300. The CS100 flight test campaign will eventually include five aircraft, with certification and first delivery expected in late 2014. Flight testing of the larger CS300 is expected to begin in 2014 with first deliveries from 2015.

Image: Bombardier Aerospace.