Boeing Business Jets (BBJ, Booth No. 2304, Static) yesterday revealed more details about its line of fuel-efficient and longer-range BBJ Max single-aisle bizliners here at the NBAA show, while also announcing a new “Split Scimitar” winglet retrofit for existing BBJs, in cooperation with Aviation Partners.
The new winglets are actually a modification of existing winglets on BBJs and make use of existing wing structure to add a split-tip and a lower dorsal fin. Aviation Partners president Joe Clark said the Split Scimitar boosts range by 2.5 to 3.0 percent, or approximately 200 nautical miles, and will be priced at $500,000 to $550,000 per set. He estimated the average time to complete the modification at eight days. FAA STC approval is expected next year.
Looking forward, the new BBJ Max 8 and BBJ Max 9 are designed to replace the current BBJ2 and BBJ3, respectively, and feature significant range improvements, thanks mostly to new CFM Leap engine and winglet technology. Boeing is targeting existing BBJ customers with these aircraft.
The Max 8 will see a 14.6 percent range improvement and the Max 9 should post a 16.2 percent range jump over current aircraft. The first BBJ Max will be delivered in 2018, and testing is already underway on the “Boeing Advanced Winglet,” a new design being developed by Boeing for the Max.
BBJ president Steve Taylor acknowledged continuing soft demand for products in the wake of a slow global economic recovery; year-to-date Boeing has only sold three BBJs–a BBJ, BBJ2 and BBJ 777-200LR. “We’re selling enough to keep the system working,” he said. However, Taylor noted that Boeing dominates the widebody bizliner market, besting rival Airbus by nearly two-to-one. “We own the big airplane market,” he said.
Taylor pointed to a survey in AIN sister publication Business Jet Traveler, which recorded 77 percent of respondents favoring Boeing bizliners over the competition. Nevertheless, Boeing’s BBJ class backlog is down to 25 aircraft; 211 have been ordered and 186 delivered to date since BBJ was formed in 1996.