With the Global 5500 and 6500 on track for entry into service this year, Bombardier unveiled at EBACE 2019 the prototype of a new seating innovation for the ultra-long range twinjets: the Nuage chaise, claimed as the first business aviation lounge chair that converts to a flat surface.
“We wanted to bring flexibility to the cabin experience, maximizing comfort and relaxation on long-haul flights,” said Peter Likoray, senior v-p of sales and marketing at Bombardier Business Aircraft (BBA; Booth Z125, SD 400).
Signaling the program’s quick move toward the finish line, the Canadian airframer also announced in Geneva induction of the first Global 6500 at its Laurent Beaudoin Completion Centre in Montréal.
The Global 5500/6500s are upgraded versions of the 5000/6000s, introduced to great surprise and fanfare at last year’s Geneva show, in conjunction with the rebranding of the Global 7000 as the 7500.
The Nuage chaise, cousin to the new Nuage seat, features an ergonomically optimized lounge position, adjustable via a simple pneumatic lever like a high-low table’s. Its “four-in-one design” allows the chaise to be used for meetings, banquet-style dining, and sleeping when laid flat, “broadening the utility of the whole cabin,” Bombardier said. The sleek minimalist style, devoid of visible support struts, complements the cabin’s open, spacious ambiance; moving parts of the pneumatically operated system are concealed. Taking the place of a credenza in the conference suite, the chaise is mounted atop a platform containing drawers, so the configuration still provides onboard storage space. It faces rearward, the design team concluding people prefer to face forward when seated, and when sleeping or reclining, having their heads toward the front of the cabin. In this application, it also affords better positioning for joining the dining table conversation and viewing a monitor some customers will have mounted on the zone’s aft bulkhead. A divan sofa can alternatively take the place of the credenza.
The redesigned interiors borrow heavily from the flagship 7500 while adding their own unique features, such as re-profiled side ledges and enhanced environmental systems. Nuage seats, which debuted on the Global 7500, will also be standard on the new Globals, and like the chaise, incorporate proprietary advances, necessitated by double-digit flight hour missions that Globals are designed to fly. The patented tilt-link system moves the seat pan as it reclines, ergonomically improving the deep recline position’s comfort. The floating base has a trackless footprint—no unsightly carpet cuts revealing floor attachments—and a permanently centered swivel axis for easy, intuitive positioning. An adjustable tilting headrest provides optimal neck support in any position.
The Global 5500/6500 cabin includes a dedicated rest area and a forward full kitchen with new cabinets and countertops, and designer-home fixtures like a steam oven, allowing en-route preparation of gourmet meals.
A private suite designed as a “secluded retreat,” with two dedicated windows and a walk-in shower option, occupies the rear cabin and offers in-flight access to pressurized baggage space.
Inmarsat Ka-band high-speed airborne connectivity using Honeywell JetWave equipment and an entertainment system with 4k ultra-high-resolution displays ensure on-the-ground style communication and entertainment, worldwide. The environmental system incorporates options for 100 percent fresh air and turbo cool or heat, enabling faster temperature adjustments.
While sharing the same airframe as their respective predecessors, the 5500/6500s incorporate a refined wing and new purpose-built Rolls-Royce Pearl 15 engines. The wing features a reprofiled trailing edge while maintaining the same leading-edge slats, flaps, and spoilers that contribute to the Globals’ smooth ride.
The Pearl 15 engine, first in a new turbofan family, is certified, and with more than 85 percent of flight testing on the platform complete, the powerplants are “delivering on the unmatched total performance expected,” Bombardier said. That includes providing up to 9 percent more maximum takeoff thrust (15,125 pounds); a 7 percent reduction in specific fuel consumption; and 30 percent decrease in NOx and 48 percent decrease in smoke emissions. And at two decibels quieter, the Pearl 15s easily meet Stage 4 noise standards, further reducing the aircraft’s environmental footprint. Final engine validations are underway.
While the Pearl 15 incorporates a new core, Rolls-Royce designed the engine to ensure it fits within the same nacelle package that is already on the Global 5000 and 6000.
The aerodynamic and engine upgrades produce up to 13 percent improved fuel efficiency and boost the top speeds of both jets to Mach 0.90, and expand the Global 5500’s range to 5,700 nm—long enough to link Moscow and Los Angeles, or Paris and Sao Paulo. The 6500’s range has grown to 6,600 nm, linking London and Singapore or Hong Kong, or Madrid and Toluca, Mexico. Performance gains are particularly pronounced in hot and high conditions, where each jet boasts a range increase up to 1,300 over the original Globals’ range.
In the cockpit, the Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion-based Vision flight deck will incorporate combined vision system on the head-up display (HUD), fusing synthetic vision with an enhanced vision overlay in a single view, a business aviation first, according to Bombardier. The HUD will require separate certification but isn’t needed to bring the aircraft to market, and the system’s primary combined vision system components are already certified independently for the Globals, according to Collins Aerospace.
Additional new flight deck features include a safety and situational awareness package with advanced weather radar detection and predictive windshear, ADS-B In with real-time traffic information, advanced airport moving maps, and an improved terrain database.
As derivatives of the Global 5000 and 6000, the -500s don’t require new type certificates but do need sign-offs on the engine, wings, and upgraded avionics. At a briefing shortly before EBACE, Julien Boudreault, Bombardier Business Aircraft’s v-p of program management, Global 5500 & 6500, said 90 percent of flight testing is completed at its Wichita, Kansas test center. Flight Test Vehicle (FTV)1 has retired and FTV2 and FTV3 are handling the remainder of certification duties.
Bombardier said it will keep the 5000/6000 in production, and they continue to make news of their own. The company was among the sponsors as one of its Global 6000s took part in the “Fueling for the Future” event held in conjunction with EBACE at the UK’s TAG Farnborough Airport this past Saturday. Following the event, the Global 6000 and other EBACE-bound and SAJF-fueled business aircraft flew on to Geneva. That Global is on static display at the show. Bombardier Aviation president David Coleal is chairman of GAMA’s Environment Committee, a primary champion of sustainable alternative jet fuel (SAJF).
Initial plans call for the Global 5500 and 6500 to be built on the same line as 5000s and 6000s, but Bombardier executives have maintained that the market will determine the future of the 5000 and 6000.
For owners and operators of in-service Globals, Bombardier is touting its new “Bring Your Jet Home” campaign, to encourage more use of its expanding global network of factory-owned and -authorized service centers. As part of its new customer experience strategy, Bombardier has introduced a Service Touchpoint satisfaction monitoring tool, aimed at expediting assistance to maintenance customers unhappy with an in-progress service visit.
Meanwhile, for AOG support, Jean-Christophe Gallagher, v-p and general manager of customer experience, noted the company’s 24/7, on-call mobile response team, which includes a Challenger 300 and Learjet 45 and has conducted more than 5,000 missions since its 2013 launch.