Global 5000 advances with flight of final test aircraft

 - February 1, 2007, 8:55 AM

The second and final test Bombardier Global 5000 took its first, four-hour flight northwest of Toronto on January 8. During the inaugural flight it reached an altitude of 17,000 feet and an indicated airspeed of 340 knots. The aircraft will be delivered to Bombardier’s completion center in Montreal later this month for installation of a production interior, after which flight testing for environmental control system validation and interior function and reliability will begin. The first Global 5000 test aircraft had completed 100 flights at press time, including operations at its certified ceiling of 51,000 feet and testing of all systems.

The Global 5000, a shortened version of the Global Express with a 4,800-nm range, was launched two years ago and is slated for certification this quarter. At $33.5 million (complete), the Global 5000 is priced between the Gulfstream 400 and Falcon 900EX, but Bombardier claims its aircraft “outshines” these competitors in key performance parameters, cabin size and passenger amenities. At the Paris Air Show last June, Bombardier said it was “pleased with the market acceptance” of the new airplane but declined to give order figures.

Meanwhile, on the same day the second Global 5000 was entering the final phases of flight testing, Bombardier was making the first customer delivery of the Challenger 300. The first of the super-midsize business jets went to Flexjet, Bombardier’s fractional-ownership program. Flexjet is scheduled to receive 24 more Challenger 300s.