Bombardier announced two additions to its ultra-long-range Global family at NBAA 2010 with the launch of the new Global 7000 and 8000.
The groundbreaking aircraft be larger and have greater non-stop range than any other business jet on the market.
First customer deliveries for the Global 7000 are planed for 2016. Deliveries of the Global 8000 are slated to begin in 2017.
Speed, Size and Range
Each of the new aircraft will offer capabilities that either equal or exceed previous generations of private jets.
The Global 7000 features:
- High speed cruise at Mach .90
- Maximum range of 7,300 NM at Mach .85
- Cabin volume of 2,637 cubic feet with four passenger zones
Non-stop city pairs with 10 passengers will include New York to Dubai, London to Singapoer and Beijing to Washington.
Global 8000's will offer a smaller cabin but record-seeting range:
- High speed cruise at Mach .90
- Maximum range of 7,900 NM at Mach .85
- Cabin volume of 2,236 cubic feet with three zones
With eight passengers, the Global 8000 can fly Mumbai to New York, Sydney to Los Angeles and Hong Kong to New York
Targeting the Gulfstream G650
The new Bombardier Globals are believed to be targeted at the Giulfstream G650, which has dominated the market with new orders and positive buzz.
Gulfstream says it plans to begin deliveries of the G650 in the first quarter of 2012, giving the airplane a four year headstart on the competition.
The G650 will have a slight high-speed cruise advantage over the new Globals, with an MMO of Mach .925, making it the world's fastest business jet.
That distinction formerly belonged to the Citation X, which had a maximum cruise speed of Mach .92. Citation held that distinction since delivering the first Citation X to Arnold Palmer in 1996.
With a maximum range of 7,000 NM carrying eight passengers, the G650 falls short to both the Global 7000 and 8000.
Cost of the Globals is expected to begin at $65 million, compared with an estimated price tag of $58.5 million for the G650.
Time will tell which manufacturer will win the latest round in the fight for business jet supremacy.
Who is the Likely Global 7000/8000 Buyer?
Certain segments of the private jet market will always want the newest, largest and fastest equiemnt available, regardless of their mission profile.
On a practical level, these new models are expected to have particular appeal to buyers in Asia, the Middle East and the South Pacific.
North American and European owners with business and family ties in such distant locations will also add to demand for the range and speed of the new Globals.
One question that remains unanswered is how operators can safely crew an airplane with such an extended range.
In Part 91 operation, duty time is guided by good judgement and best practices. Flight time exceeding 15 hours will require multiple crews and proper crew rest areas. Crew rest accomodations and additional crew will also reduce usable payload.
Part 135 crew duty issues may be insurmountable for Global 7000 and 8000 operators. Pilot fatigue is a hot button issue for FAA, NTSB and other government agencies. These new aircraft and their operators will be under great scrutiny by regulators.
Read more about pilot fatigue in Arlene Fleiming's Air Travel blog.
The Bottom Line
Aircraft range can be stretched just so far.
Passengers want to fly farther and faster. No matter how comfortable and well served they are, the new Global 7000 and 8000 seem to stretch the envelope of human and technical endurance.
The next popular hurdle for manufacturers still seems to be the sound barrier. Traveling at supersonic speeds will offer the next truly revolutionary change for the business aviation user.
More than 41 years since Concorde's first flight and almost eight since its final flight, passengers are still waiting to fly faster than the speed of sound again.