Bombardier Launches New Ultra-Long-Range Jets

Bombardier's Global family now includes the ultra long-range 5000, XRS, 7000 and 8000.
••• Bombardier

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 will be larger and have greater non-stop range than any other business jet on the market. First customer deliveries for the Global 7000 were planned for 2016. Deliveries of the Global 8000 began 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 Singapore and Beijing to Washington.

Global 8000's will offer a smaller cabin but record-setting 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

Competing with the Gulfstream G650

The new Bombardier Globals will compete with the Gulfstream 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 a maximum Mach operating speed 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 nautical miles and carrying eight passengers, the G650 falls short to both the Global 7000 and 8000.

T​he cost of the Globals is expected to begin at $65 million, compared with an estimated price tag of $58.5 million for the G650.

Who is the likely Global 7000/8000 buyer?

Certain segments of the private jet market will always want the newest, largest and fastest equipment 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 distant locations will also increase demand for the new Globals.

Crew Challenges

One question that remains unanswered about the Global 7000 and 8000 aircraft family is how operators will plan for crew operations in 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 requires multiple crews and proper crew rest areas. Crew rest accomodations and additional crewmembers 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, so the safe operation of these new aircraft will be under great scrutiny by regulators.

The Bottom Line

Passengers want to fly faster and farther. But no matter how comfortable and well served they are, aircraft range can be stretched just so far, and the new Global 7000 and 8000 might just 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. For now the Global 7000 and 8000 offer the best when it comes to comfort and range.