Bombardier received FAA validation for its newest Globals, the 5500 and 6500, paving the way for the aircraft to enter the U.S. market. With the latest nod, Bombardier has a triumvirate of approvals for the models, with Transport Canada certification coming in late September, followed by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency’s nod in October. The first 6500 entered service in late September following Canadian approval. As Bombardier celebrated the FAA approval, the Montreal-based manufacturer also today announced the delivery of the initial 6500 on order with Hong Kong-based HK Bellawings.
The trio of approvals come a little more than a year and a half after Bombardier made the surprise unveiling of the aircraft during EBACE 2018 in Geneva. Building on their Global 5000 and 6000 predecessors, the new variants are fitted with the new Rolls-Royce Pearl 15 engines, reprofiled wings, upgraded interiors, and flight deck features. The result is a 5,900-nm range for the 5500 and a 6,600-nm range for the 6500.
Michel Ouellette, Bombardier Aviation senior v-p for program management and engineering, said the latest approval “starts a new chapter in our Global family story…the Global 5500 and Global 6500 have a strong future and will earn the appreciation of executives, pilots, and operators around the world.”
HK Bellawings initially announced a letter of intent for a fleet of up to 18 6500s and 7500s valued at well over $1 billion at 2018 EBACE. The aircraft management company later firmed up that LOI with orders for at least four 6500s and six more options. Also, HK Bellawings has firmed up at least six orders for the 7500. The agreements position HK Bellawings to manage the largest fleets of 6500s and 7500s in China.