Certification of the infrared enhanced vision system (EVS) for the Bombardier Global Express XRS–said to be “imminent” at press time–will close an important technology gap between Gulfstream and Bombardier, head-to-head competitors in the ultra-long-range business jet market.
Bombardier Global Express
Bombardier has closed its green completion center in Tucson, but it is still doing business aircraft interior refurbishment at its adjacent Tucson Service Center. In December, Bombardier and the Tucson Airport Authority reached a new lease agreement that allows start-up completion center DunnAir to gradually take possession of Bombardier’s former completion facility (see page 76).
Bombardier began shakedown flights January 16 of the first Global Express XRS, a longer-range successor to the Global Express. The first flight lasted slightly more than four hours.
Deliveries of the 6,150-nm-range twin-engine business jet (already approved under the same type certificate as its predecessor) are expected to begin in the first quarter of next year.
It’s one of those problems providers might like to see but that can be exasperating for their customers–more demand than capacity. The completion and refurbishment industry in the U.S. is struggling to keep up with demand as sales of new and used business aircraft continue to grow, and now Canadian shops are facing the same challenge.
Zurich-based charter company Comlux took possession last month of an Airbus A318 Elite, making it the first to operate the type. The aircraft will be outfitted with a VIP cabin that seats up to 18 passengers by Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg, which is due to deliver the completed aircraft this quarter. The Elite is a 4,000-nm-range jet intended to compete with the Gulfstream G550 and Global Express.
Midcoast Aviation, a long-time center for the green completion of highly individualized Bombardier business jet interiors, has secured another 48 positions, bringing to
90 the total number of aircraft scheduled for completion by 2012.
Engaging in some preshow one-upmanship, Canadian business jet manufacturer Bombardier on Saturday celebrated a transatlantic speed record for its long-range Global 5000 that was slightly faster and slightly longer than a similar record flown only three weeks before by bitter chief rival Gulfstream.
Gulfstream officials yesterday got a chuckle out of claims by rival Bombardier that the Canadian manufacturer’s Global 5000 business jet beat their own Savannah, Georgia-built G450 on a recent speed-record flight.
Demonstrating that Boeing and Airbus aren’t the only bitter rivals in the aerospace schoolyard, Bombardier yesterday issued a public challenge to Gulfstream by proposing the two commit to the idea of holding a race.
Dubai International Airport now has not one but two purpose-built support facilities for business aviation, both located in the duty free zone on the other side of the runway from the airshow. The new Jet Aviation FBO has been operational since May, and will be formally opened at a ceremony here this evening. The new Bombardier/ExecuJet Aviation facility was inaugurated yesterday and began operations just this month.