Returning to the scene of its rebranding one year ago as the Global 7500 (née Global 7000), Bombardier is touting at EBACE 2019 its flagship’s new circadian rhythm-based cabin lighting system, designed to combat the effects of jet lag, and now standard on the ultra-long-range jet. Dubbed the Soleil (French for sun) Dynamic Lighting System, the technology uses changing combinations of red and blue light wavelengths that studies have shown stimulate or suppress melatonin—a hormone that helps regulate sleep. It’s engineered to help align passengers’ circadian rhythms to their travel, with development “driven by the needs of truly worldwide aircraft that are going to be crossing time zones and connecting airports and city pairs that no other aircraft can,” said Bombardier Business Aircraft (BBA) manager, industrial design, Tim Fagan. Incorporating Dynamic Daylight Simulation, Soleil can automatically adjust the cabin lights to help re-regulate travelers’ body clocks, either to maximize efficiency en route or adjust to the time zone of their destination. Such adaptive light strategies become useful on flights exceeding seven hours, Fagan said, adding, “I think we're just scratching the surface on how we can better take care of our passengers onboard the aircraft in terms of wellness.”
Integrated with the aircraft’s Flight Management System through the Global 7500’s Lufthansa Technik nice Touch CMS, Soleil uses information in the active flight plan and proprietary algorithms to calculate the appropriate circadian-based lighting changes for the flight. The system, which can be engaged at any point in the journey, can also recommend optimum times for meal service accordingly. Each of the 7500’s four cabin zones can be individually quarantined and have its own lighting regime during the flight.
Soleil boasts the highest definition color rendering index (CRI) of any current system, according to the Montreal-based airframer, and incorporates mood lighting and other popular contemporary cabin illumination capabilities. Unveiled last month at the annual Milken Institute Global Conference in the U.S., a cabin mockup with Soleil is on display at Bombardier’s EBACE exhibit (Booth Z125; SD 400).
Beyond state-of-the-art lighting, as the largest purpose-built business jet and first with a true four-zone cabin by Bombardier’s reckoning, long-range fliers are eager to explore the Global 7500’s interior possibilities.
“We’re seeing a lot more customers with demand for the full stretch of the airplane, and going on 12-, 14-, and 16-hour flights,” said Stephane Loubert, Bombardier’s program management, Global 7500/8000, speaking shortly before EBACE at the company’s Centre of Excellence in Montréal. “That extra 25 percent space in the airplane”—it’s 10 feet longer than the Global 6000/6500 cabin—“is an advantage. It gives the customer a lot more flexibility.”
Global interiors are designed and the aircraft delivered at the Centre of Excellence, and Loubert sat in the elegant design showroom suite, surrounded by endless samples of fine china, fabrics and leathers, stone and wood, carpeting and other de rigueur furnishings of the world’s finest interiors. “We've been working on replicating what customers have at home,” he said.
While many configurations are available, many customers are choosing a private stateroom with full-size queen bed in the aft cabin. Loubert noted both the Global 5000 and 6000 offer shower options, “But now with the size of the airplane, we've got a full standup shower with 45 minutes of shower time.”
Nuage seats, making their debut in the 7500, will help ensure the hours pass comfortably. The patented tilt-link system moves the seat pan as it reclines, improving the deep recline position’s ergonomics and comfort. The floating base has a permanently centered swivel axis for easy, intuitive positioning, and a trackless footprint, so no floor attachment hardware is visible through carpet cuts. An adjustable tilting headrest provides optimal neck support in any position.
Each seat has an OLED dial controller—business aviation’s first application of an OLED (organic light emitting diode) display—part of the new fiber optic-based nice Touch IFE/CMS developed with Lufthansa Technik for the 7500. The controller sits flush in the armrest unseen when not in use, but rises and lights up with a swipe of the fingers, putting all cabin lighting, environmental and entertainment controls literally at the passenger’s fingertips. Cabin functions can also be controlled from touchscreen keypads on bulkheads dividing the cabin zones.
In the kitchen—Bombardier doesn’t call it a galley—appliances are purposely left exposed, to showcase the designer kitchen-like outfitting, and the layout has been optimized for onboard meal preparation and service.
As for interior design trends, Loubert reports “dark wood and contrasting light leather, and then lighter fabrics to match the seats” are popular. “In the past, it was a little bit trickier to get the right finish and look on dark wood,” he said, but today’s spray finish technology makes it feasible.
Boasting performance as impressive as its cabin design and appointments, cruise speed tops out at Mach 0.925, and its 7,700 nm range is the greatest of any purpose-built business jet, according to Bombardier, while maintaining agile short field capability. Arriving at EBACE as part of its inaugural world tour, the flagship has racked up multiple speed and distance records on its way to Geneva. It set a speed record between Los Angeles and New York of 3 hours, 54 minutes, with more than half the total flown at Mach 0.925. It then took honors for fastest civilian flight on the key New York to London international route, completing the flight in 5 hours, 26 minutes, for an average speed of Mach 0.92. Then in early March the demo aircraft flew 8,162 nm—longest flight ever made by a purpose-built business jet—from Singapore to Tucson, Arizona, in the U.S., at a sustained speed of Mach 0.85.
By mid-April, the 7500 had flown more than 316 hours and 100,00 nm (the equivalent of more than 4.5 circumnavigations), with more than 90 takeoffs and landing in 21 cities across four continents with 100 percent dispatch reliability.
After two deliveries in 2018, Bombardier expects to hand over 15 to 20 this year of the flagship Globals, and 30 to 40 in 2020. The line can produce more than 40 annually, the company has said, and will adjust production to market demand.