With Ultra Long Range jets the strongest industry growth sector, there was much excitement this summer as manufacturer Bombardier unveiled the first prototype of their new Global 7000.
The plans have been on paper for a few years now, but it’s always a thrill to see a real-life aircraft mock-up. I experienced this at EBACE in Geneva back in May, and the prototype has recently been presented to the US media, creating a new wave of interest there.
The Global 7000 has been dubbed the Rolls Royce of the skies. And when the $75 million aircraft launches in 2016, it will be a close rival to the Gulfstream’s much-talked-about G650 – currently the world’s most desirable private aircraft for A-list celebrities and high net worths (and now available with extended range of 7,000 nm as the G650ER). Dassault’s long range Falcon 8X is also due to enter service in 2016, see Long range jets race to fly further.
Bombardier believe the Global 7000 will be regarded as the ultimate long range purpose-built business jet. It will offer a range of 7,300 nm and a speed of Mach 0.9.
Its unique design point is the ‘inside out’ concept. Traditionally aircraft are designed from the outside in, fitting the interior into the available space, but the Global 7000 took the needs of the cabin first. As Tim Fagan, the Industrial Design Manager put it “It was designed from the inside out, with the needs of the cabin driving the specifications of the airframe. Our goal was to craft the perfect experience.”
Their design has been inspired by automobile style guidelines from Rolls Royce and Bentley, putting the focus on high quality, but understated style and craftmanship for the most discerning of private jet customers. The aircraft offers many layout options including kitchen, reclinable seating areas for between 10 and 19 passengers, and zones for dining, conference, entertainment or sleeping – including a private master stateroom with a queen-sized bed and en-suite shower room.
But probably the feature giving it the biggest wow factor are the enlarged windows – bigger than any other long range jet. Designed to bring more natural light into the cabin and improved viewing angles, there are six, large rectangular windows for each of the four interior zones.
Private jet manufacturers put a huge amount of attention on their window design. Not only do they have a major impact on the aircraft’s aerodynamics – and therefore its speed and fuel-efficiency. But from a passenger perspective, they are literally the eyes of the aircraft and a key brand signifier.
Gulfstream are the owners of the best-known private jet windows – their egg-shaped windows make their jets instantly recognisable to even a modest planespotter. So it’s no surprise that Bombardier are hitting back at the G650 with unique windows of their own.
Bombardier will make the first customer deliveries of the Global 7000 in 2016 and expect their order book to be one-third high net worth owners, one-third aircraft operators and one-third corporate flight departments.
And meanwhile they are busy working on the follow-up. The Global 8000 is due for launch in 2017, offering a huge range of 7,900 nm and high-speed cruise of Mach 0.9, enabling non-stop routes such as Los Angeles to Sydney or Geneva to Bali. This will make it the world’s farthest-range business jet…until one of its competitors flies further of course!