NBAA Convention News

Ultra-long-range gets longer

 - October 18, 2010, 3:45 PM
Bombardier is pushing the term ultra-long-range to new lengths with its just announced Global 7000 and 8000.

Bombardier introduced two new jets, the Global 7000 and Global 8000, to the top end of its Global family of ultra-long-range business jets at NBAA yesterday. The larger Global 7000 features a four-zone cabin and will have a 7,300-nm range, and the shorter Global 8,000 has a three-zone cabin and a 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, Bombardier Business Aircraft. The entry-into-service date for the Global 7000 is set for 2016 and for the Global 8000 it is 2017. Both of the new jets are priced at $65 million in 2010 dollars. The current in-production Global fleet includes 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, sales.

The new jets are the result of a rethinking of the design brought on by the economic downturn that commenced 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 relook 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 very, very different place from where we thought we would be."

The new Globals will fly on a new aerodynamically efficient transonic wing, powered by GE's new high-bypass TechX 16,500-lb-thrust turbofan engine. NOx emissions are said to be 50 percent below ICAO's proposed Civil Aircraft Emissions Protocol (CAEP-6) regulations. Fuel efficiency is projected to be 8 percent better than the Global XRS.

The Global 7000 features a four-zone cabin with a volume of 2,637 cu ft. High-speed cruise will be Mach 0.90 and long-range cruise of M 0.85 delivers a range of 7,300 nm, providing the legs for flights between London-Singapore, New York-Dubai or Beijing-Washington with 10 passengers.

"In talking to principals, the prime focus has been on the cabin, and the reaction to the four staterooms has been very 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 main competitor in the large cabin ultra-long-range business aircraft space, which is showcasing the new Gulfstream G650 here at the convention. For comparison, the Global 7000 cabin measures 59.6 feet long, 6.92 feet wide and 6.25 feet high; the G650 cabin is 53 feet 7 inches long by 8 feet 2 inches wide by 6 feet 3 inches high. The G650's cabin volume is 2,138 cu ft.

The Global 8000 will have a three-zone cabin of 2,236 cu ft. and a range of 7,000 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 current Globals will provide more natural light, and the interiors also feature an accessible baggage area and crew rest area, and will provide options for defining floor plans.

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 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 point, but in terms of customer need," Horner said. "So 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 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've got four days of tremendous opportunity to talk to our customers, and sign purchase agreements."