Bombardier’s new Globals will shrink the globe again

 - October 26, 2010, 12:04 PM

In the weeks before last month’s NBAA Convention, industry speculation about whether and how it would compete with the G650 forced Bombardier to partially reveal its hand sooner than it had intended, when on September 30 it admitted that the Global line of ultra-long-range business jets would be expanding. Sure enough, at the convention in Atlanta on October 18, the wraps came off two new jets–the Global 7000 and Global 8000. The larger Global 7000 features a four-zone cabin and will have 7,300 nm range, and the shorter Global 8,000 has a three-zone cabin and 7,900 nm range.

“By extending this great family, we are once again offering a business jet travel experience that is unmatched and ahead of its time,” said Steve Ridolfi, president of Bombardier Business Aircraft. The Global 7000 is set to enter service in 2016, followed a year later by the Global 8000. Both of the new jets are priced at $65 million in 2010 dollars. The current in-production Global offerings are the Global Express XRS and the Global 5000.

“The whole philosophy is to maintain the high ground in the long-range category of aircraft,” said Bob Horner, Bombardier’s senior vice president of sales.
The new jets are the result of a rethinking of the design brought on by the economic downturn that began in 2008.

“We were well into development at the beginning of the economic crisis, and it was the crisis that actually caused us to take a breath and another look at what we’re bringing to the market,” said Horner. “[These aircraft] are substantially different from first envisaged, with a brand-new engine and a new wing, a platform that will take us well into the century, rather than just a stretch or a plug [in an existing airframe]. It’s a different place from where we thought we would be.”

The new Globals will fly on a new, aerodynamically more efficient transonic wing, powered by GE’s new high-bypass TechX 16,500-pound-thrust turbofan. NOx emissions are said to be 50 percent below ICAO’s proposed civil aircraft emissions protocol (CAEP-6) regulations. Fuel efficiency is expected to be 8 percent better than that of the Rolls-Royce BR710-powered Global XRS.

Four Staterooms

The Global 7000 features a four-zone cabin with a volume of 2,637 cu ft. High-speed cruise will be Mach 0.90. The long-range cruise of Mach 0.85 will deliver a range of 7,300 nm, providing endurance sufficient for nonstop flights with 10 passengers between city pairs such as London-Singapore, New York-Dubai or Beijing-Washington.

“In talking to principals, the prime focus has been on the cabin, and the reaction to the four staterooms has been positive,” Horner said. “We’d imagined that most [customers] would want to have three staterooms, but a lot of feedback said, ‘Give us that fourth stateroom at the back of the airplane.’ That allows you to have a dedicated bed and shower. It becomes like a suite as opposed to a pull-out couch.”

In highlighting the interior size, Bombardier doubtless has an eye on Gulfstream, its eyeball-to-eyeball competitor in this segment with the G650. For comparison (with G650 cabin dimensions in parentheses), the Global 7000 cabin measures 59.6 ft long (53.6 ft), 6.92 ft wide (8.2 ft), 6.25 ft high (6.25 ft) and provides cabin volume of 2,637 cu ft (2,138 cu ft).

The Global 8000 will have a three-zone cabin of 2,236 cu ft and a range of 7,900 nm at Mach 0.85, sufficient for Sydney-Los Angeles, Hong Kong-New York and Mumbai-New York flights with eight passengers.

Windows 80 percent larger than those of current Globals will provide more natural light, and the interiors also feature an accessible baggage area and crew rest area.
The cockpit will feature an updated version of the Global Vision (Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion) flight deck in the Global Express XRS and advanced connectivity for the cabin management system. “We’re already there in terms of avionics,” Horner said.
“What we’re trying to do is not differentiate one from the other in terms of price but in terms of customer need,” he added. “If you want the additional range, go for the 8000. If you want the additional cabin size, go for the 7000.

“Our whole philosophy at Bom­bardier, with Learjet, Challenger and Global, is to have a family,” continued Horner “This is an extension of that overall philosophy.”
Having rethought the new ­Globals in the context of challenging economic times, Bombardier is eager to propel its new entrants in the ultra-long-range fleet.

“With the official launch, we’re taking orders and signing purchase agreements,” Horner said. “It’s no longer an LOI [letter of intent]. That product is well under way. So from a salesman’s point of view, there’s a tremendous opportunity for us. We’ve got the perfect platform, and many of our customers are coming, so [we had] four days of tremendous opportunity [at the NBAA Convention] to talk to our customers and sign purchase agreements.”