Global 5000 challenges GIV-SP & Falcon 900EX

 - October 2, 2007, 11:02 AM

Addressing what it sees as a gap between its popular Challenger 604 and ultra-long-range Global Express business jets, Bombardier unveiled late last month in Montreal the Global 5000, the twelfth new or derivative airplane the Canadian business and regional aircraft manufacturer has introduced over the last nine years.

Derived from the Global Express, the Global 5000 is targeted to compete directly with the Gulfstream IV-SP and Dassault Falcon 900EX business jets that now dominate the “super-large aircraft” market segment, as defined by Bombardier. This segment comprises the middle portion of the “greater large aircraft” market, which includes, as defined by Bombardier, “large aircraft” (Challenger 604 and Falcon 50EX, 2000 and 2000EX), “super-large aircraft” (GIV-SP and Falcon 900C, 900EX and FNX) and “ultra-large aircraft” (Global Express and GV-SP). With three offerings in the total greater large aircraft market–the Global Express, the Global 5000 and the Challenger 604–Bombardier hopes to capture 42 percent of this market segment’s annual sales, which the company forecasts will average approximately 205 units per year over the next 10 years.

The Global 5000 is a Global Express with a five-foot-shorter fuselage and less fuel capacity. Exactly how much less is still under determination, although Bombardier has decided the 5000 will not have the Global’s aft fuselage fuel tank. All fuel in the 5000 will be carried in its wings, although even here there will likely be excess capacity since the airplane is being designed for a 4,800-nm NBAA IFR range (max fuel on the 6,010-nm Global Express is 43,350 lb). Exact fuel figures and all aircraft weights are under study while Bombardier confers with suppliers on component weights. “The design is in the conceptual development stage, and  it is too early yet to release these weights,” Luc Fouquette, general manager of Global programs, told AIN. He added that Bombardier will release these numbers when it formally launches the program, which it expects to do before year-end.

This ambiguity is due to Bombardier’s goal to design to performance targets, therefore “weight ends up being a byproduct of performance,” explained Mark Bouliane, product manager of Global programs. “We have a fairly good idea where we are and we have flexibility with weight and fuel load because the Global Express is already certified to a much higher weight than we need.”

All other components of the new derivative model–wings, 14,750-lb-thrust Rolls-Royce Deutschland BR710A2-20 engines, Honeywell Primus 2000XP avionics, flight controls, electrical system, hydraulic system, central aircraft information system and so on–are virtually identical to those of the mother ship, with one major difference. The original Global Express was launched in 1993 and certified in 1998. Since then, there have been untold technological advances in many systems, and Bombardier intends to incorporate as many of these improvements in the 5000 as possible, said Bouliane.

This is one reason it gives for not being able to state firm weights at this time since it expects some components to shed pounds. Bombardier also intends to transfer such advances to the Global Express whenever practicable, so that both aircraft improve in parallel. Indeed, the goal is to keep the two models as similar as possible so that common type and maintenance ratings will suffice for pilots and mechanics, respectively. Bombardier also plans to “grandfather” the 5000 onto the Global’s type certificate. The Global Express is certified to Part 25 through Amendment 97 and the company is in negotiations with authorities regarding the 5000’s certification requirements.

Culled from a 24-month market research study, the specific customer needs that dictated the design of the Global 5000 are cabin comfort; non-stop capability from continental Europe to central U.S., a distance of at least 4,700 nm, at Mach 0.85; a competitive price, defined as less than $35 million; and a takeoff field length at or below 5,000 ft.

The Global 5000 will have the following parameters: a cabin cross-section identical to that of the Global Express, with three 106-in. seating zones; NBAA IFR range against 85-percent annual Boeing winds with eight pax and three crew, 4,800 nm at Mach 0.85; price, $32.95 million; and balanced field length (sl, ISA, mtow), 5,000 ft. Other performance specifications include: NBAA IFR range (with the same parameters as above) at Mach 0.89, 3,700 nm; initial cruise altitude, FL 430, with a time to climb of 25 min; maximum cruise altitude, FL 510; landing distance (sl, mlw), 2,700 ft.

Although the length of the Global 5000’s cabin (43 ft 4 in.) is five feet less than that of the Global Express, engineers have been able to maintain a nearly equivalent seating-area space by reducing the sizes of the aft lavatory and the forward galley. The result is that the length of the seating area is only 10 in. shorter than that of the Global. The baggage area is about the same size. Interior configurations will accommodate eight to 19 passengers.

Planned milestones for the Global 5000 are program launch, fourth quarter; first flight, first quarter 2003; certification, first quarter 2004; and service entry, fourth quarter 2004.