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A mock-up of a Bombardier Inc. C-Series jet stands at the company's product development center in Saint Laurent, Que., on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011.John Morstad/Bloomberg

Bombardier Inc. is preparing for its first flight next week of the larger version of its new C Series commercial airliner.

The Montreal-based plane and train maker said on Friday that its CS300 prototype has been cleared for takeoff by Transport Canada.

Weather permitting, the CS300's first flight is scheduled to occur between Feb. 26 and Feb. 28.

The CS300's standard seating capacity is 130 but it can be fitted for "high-density" configurations of up to 160 seats.

The CS100, with seats in the 100-to-125 range, had its maiden flight in September of 2013.

The C Series program – an ambitious attempt by Bombardier to break into the mid-size airliner category – has been hampered by delays and cost overruns. The cost has ballooned to $5.4-billion from $3.4-billion and the company is issuing about $938-million in a new equity issue as part of a plan to raise $2.1-billion (U.S.) to address potential liquidity problems.

Bombardier said on Friday that the CS300 is expected to perform next week a series of handling and system calibration tests at different altitudes and speeds.

The first four CS100 flight test vehicles have flown more than 1,000 hours so far and "test results are looking great," said Rob Dewar, vice-president of the C Series program.

The company says it plans for the CS100 to make its commercial debut in the second-half of 2015, with the CS300 launching about six months later.

The test flight of the CS300 is set to take place at Mirabel, Que., north of Montreal, where CS100 testing has also been taking place.

So far, Bombardier has firm orders for 180 CS300 planes and for 63 CS100 airliners.