Updates from NBAA 2019

NBAA-BACE 2019 concluded this week, and what a show it was; full of new aircraft launches, popular aircraft updates, and a huge focus on the future of business aviation.

We scoured the convention floor and static aircraft display to see these new developments first-hand – putting in over 12,000 steps per day!

Here are the main takeaways from the biggest private aviation convention of the year:

New Aircraft Announcement – Going Big

They’ve been battling it out at the very top of the business jet market for years, so when Bombardier unveiled the Global 7500, it was only a matter of time until Gulfstream responded. And now, with the launch of the G700, they have – in a big way.

With an invitation-only event on the opening night of NBAA and a revealing rivaling that of a music festival showdown, Gulfstream made sure to turn heads.

G700 unveiling nbaa

Image: Bloomberg

The ultra-long range G700 will be Gulfstream’s new flagship – a step up from the G650ER and even a few steps up from the Global 7500 in some aspects.

They are pretty much neck-and-neck in range: The G700 will be able to fly for 7,500nm – which matches the Global 7500’s – that is until Bombardier announced it was now extending the range to 7,700nm just days ago. (Although of course Gulfstream may respond again by extending the G700’s range further during its certification program – something we’ve seen several times before).

And in maximum speed terms, the G700 is an exact match for the Global 7500 at Mach 0.925.

the-gulfstream-g700_3

Image: Gulfstream

Price-wise, the G700 will come at a higher price than the Global 7500, at $75 million, versus $72.8 million.

The real differentiator at this end of the market now is the cabin experience. And in particular, how many zones you can create, to offer more privacy, sleeping and working options onboard.

While the Global 7500 has four zones (which took it one ahead of the G650ER), the G700 will now have five – enabled by the tallest and widest cabin in business aviation to date, which is 7% bigger than the Global 7500’s. It will be 2 feet longer in the cabin – and slightly higher and wider too.

gulfstream-g700-webdivan

Image: Gulfstream

The G700’s five zones (which can seat up to 19 passengers) means it can offer a dedicated master bedroom suite with shower and also a separate, private area for dining or conference space that seats six.

As you’d expect, the new aircraft has also pushed the envelope when it comes to the lighting and cabin environment, with a record-breaking 20 windows; a lighting system that recreates sunrise and sunset to reduce jet lag; pressurization to give the lowest cabin altitude in the industry; and 100% fresh air circulation.

Updates on Client Favorites

NBAA also saw a few manufacturers announce updates to popular aircraft; Bombardier showed off the Learjet 75 Liberty and Pilatus revealed its new PC-12NGX.

The Learjet 75 has long been a client-favorite – but has seen competition from the Citation family of aircraft, as well as from the super-popular Phenom 300.

Bombardier-Learjet-75-Liberty-exterior-runway

Image: Bombardier

So, the new version of the Learjet 75 features a re-imagined 6-seat cabin, improved performance, & most importantly for customers, comes in at a lower pricetag of $9.9M.

Pilatus also introduced a few improvements to the ever-popular PC-12 in the form of the PC-12NGX – it has an upgraded cabin experience featuring BMW-designed seats and larger windows, along with a whole host of performance upgrades.

PC-12-NGX-interior

Image: Pilatus

The PC-12 NGX will come with an upgraded version of the existing Pratt & Whitney powerplant, featuring a dual-channel integrated electronic propeller and a number of enhancements for pilots in the flightdeck.

Image: PIlatus

Image: Pilatus

Its optimized power means lower cabin noise, thanks to a new mode that reduces propeller speed from 1,700 rpm to 1,550 rpm without reducing engine power output. It also means the aircraft’s maximum cruise speed will be 290kts (a 10% increase on the current model).

Focus on VTOL & Urban Air Mobility

The excitement surrounding Vertical Take-Off and Landing aircraft permeated all of NBAA this year; issues like Urban Air Mobility all seemed to point to VTOL and eVTOL technology to alleviate traffic and congestion in densely populated areas.

Indeed NBAA featured an Unmanned Aircraft Systems & Urban Air Mobility Innovation zone to highlight all the prototypes and developing technology.

Top left: Bell's newest VTOL concept Top right: Airbus Bottom left: cabin concept for Uber Elevate Bottom right: Uber elevate model

Top left: Bell’s newest VTOL concept
Top right: Airbus
Bottom left: cabin concept for Uber Elevate
Bottom right: Uber elevate model

Challenges surrounding integration into our current transportation systems remain, but the future looks bright – and near! – for VTOL technology.

In the OneSky Family

And within the Directional Aviation organization, OneSky had news to share as well.

OneSky announced & launched Tuvoli, a payment and scheduling system that is sure to revolutionize the charter market. With faster and safer payment processing and a more integrated contracting system, we’re very excited to see Tuvoli take off.

Flexjet was also in the news as the launch customer of the new G700 aircraft – a $1.2 billion deal adding 16 of the impressive jets to the fleet.

Overall, NBAA was a whirlwind of news and excitement that is sure to continue through 2020 in business aviation.