When Bombardier Aerospace announced the Global 6000 at the NBAA convention in 2003, it was as a major upgrade of its Global Express XRS. Today, the Canadian OEM describes it as “the most accomplished and luxurious business jet ever brought to market.”
Good news, especially for those who want to be connected and stay connected, starting with one-channel Inmarsat Aero H+ SwiftBroadband as standard, providing 432 kbps data transfer, delivered to a personal communication device via the cabin Wi-Fi connection. Optional for higher data transfer rates up to 2 Mbps is the ViaSat Ku-band connection through, which has some inconsistencies and with which coverage is not yet worldwide. “But when it is working right, which it virtually always is, it’s great,” said customer account manager for the Global aircraft family Maurice Varin.
Industry wide, there is yet no airborne Internet connectivity that is the true equivalent of what is found in the typical home or office. Aircell’s Gogo Biz comes close, and though not on Bombardier’s published options list it is available. Gogo Biz provides data transfer speeds up to 3.1 Mbps over the continental U.S. and Alaska, but only at altitudes above 10,000 feet.
High-def Entertainment System
The 720p high-definition (HD) in-flight entertainment (IFE) system is tied into the Rockwell Collins CES HD Venue-based cabin management system. It includes two 24-inch bulkhead-mount monitors, along with three plug-in HD monitors as loose equipment. The monitors are also LCD with LED backlighting to create a sharper image with brighter colors. A one-terabyte HD server for media storage is standard and a two-terabyte server is optional.
A Wi-Fi application allows passengers to stream any movie in the IFE system to a personal device such as a tablet, and will allow streaming of tablet or smartphone content to the IFE for viewing throughout the cabin. The cabin Wi-Fi system will also allow passengers to operate cabin controls through tablet or smartphone.
In addition to the two 24-inch and the three plug-in monitors as standard, cabin options include: a 24-inch pop-up screen stowed in the credenza; a 32-inch monitor with surround sound in the aft stateroom; seat-installation monitors; and additional plug-in monitors.
According to Varin, the cabin management system and associated systems have all been designed with the demands for a highly customized cabin in mind. “As a result, we have a highly flexible cabin that will easily adapt to new technology.”
While all the electronic toys are nice, even necessary, in an airplane with a range of more than 6,000 nm at Mach 0.85, cabin comfort is equally necessary. Start with a 2,140-cu-ft cabin and 335-sq-ft of floor area in a space 48 feet 4 inches long, 8 feet 2 inches wide and a spacious 6 feet 3 inches of headroom. In the cabin are three compartments, starting with a baseline layout that includes an enclosed aft stateroom, a pocket door divider and aft lavatory, a mid-cabin conference grouping and dedicated forward section that includes a second lavatory, large galley and crew-rest area. The lavatory toilets forward and aft are connected and both are vacuum flushing.
The galley position is forward and it is well-equipped with convection and microwave ovens, a Nespresso coffee-maker, hot- and cold-water sink and a refrigerated storage space that gets to 39-deg F within 30 minutes of power-up and maintains that temperature until shut-down. Options include an induction oven and a regular (U.S. style) coffee-maker as a replacement for, or in addition to, the Nespresso.
Adding further to the comfort is a standard side-facing divan in the aft stateroom area, 80 inches long and 40 inches wide. An optional divan on the opposite side of the compartment will complement it to form a single, large double bed.
The seats from B/E Aerospace have been upgraded to eliminate the annoying “hump” in the center when fully reclined. The new seat features electric controls (for the most part) and when fully reclined form a true full-flat sleeping surface. An optional fitted mattress is also available. Varin said the articulation is “very smooth and includes 350-degree swivel.” And he notes that when the seat is partially reclined, the seat pan has a lifter mechanism that tilts so the passenger doesn’t tend to slide forward. “Compared with the original, which was a pretty good seat, this new seat is a one-hundred-percent improvement,” he said.
If cleanliness is truly next to godliness, the optional, stand-up shower is a place of in-flight worship with a maximum of 40-minutes of hot water (28 minutes standard and another 17 optional). The earlier shower was an adequate but less satisfactory sit-down affair. The shower is rated for one occupant, a restriction that is related to available emergency oxygen supply.
A quiet cabin is high on the gotta-have list of every customer, and Bombardier has developed a thermal/acoustic package that has reduced the Global 6000 average cabin noise level to slightly less than 50 dB SIL (speech interference level), roughly equivalent to a typical suburban living room. By comparison, the cabin noise level in the typical business jet averages about 54 to 56 dB SIL.
Finally, the cabin pressurization has been improved to permit a 4,500-foot altitude equivalent at 45,000 feet and 5,700 feet at 51,000 feet. A lower cabin pressure has been shown to increase passenger comfort as well as reduce symptoms of fatigue and jet lag.
According to Bombardier, every aspect of the passenger’s desires was taken into consideration in upgrading the Global Express XRS cabin. “The Global 6000 successor,” Varin explained, “was designed and crafted to not merely meet the traveler’s expectations, but to exceed them.”