As it nears certification for its new 7,700-nm flagship business jet, Bombardier Business Aircraft has retired the first Global 7500 flight-test vehicle—FTV1, dubbed “The Performer”—from flight-test duties, the Canadian aircraft manufacturer announced this week. “On November 4, 2016, the inaugural flight test vehicle…took to the skies for the first time,” it said. “Today, [it] has officially completed all of its flight testing and is going into retirement. Mission accomplished.”
However, Bombardier said the aircraft itself is far from being retired. Instead, FTV1 has recently been painted at the company’s Global Completion Center, serving as a dress rehearsal for the paint shop, which was recently expanded to accommodate the larger model. The airplane will also be used as a demonstrator and appear at local and company events ahead of the first production Global 7500’s expected service entry in the fourth quarter. In addition, Bombardier’s customer experience team is using FTV1 to validate all instruction manuals and procedural guidelines.
Meanwhile, the company said the rest of its Global 7500 flight-test fleet—FTV2 through FTV5—is wrapping up the final testing. To date, the five test aircraft have accumulated more than 2,700 flight hours altogether.