Bombardier announced the launch of two new airplanes at EBACE, the Global 5500 and Global 6500, which are substantial upgrades of the Global 5000 and 6000 models. These two new models both utilize the newly certified Rolls Royce Pearl engine family, which has been derived from their Advanced 2 concept. Bombardier has managed to keep these programs a well guarded secret, and even flew the first flight test vehicle, a Global 6500, to EBACE on its first Trans-Atlantic permit.
The new engines provide a 13% improvement in fuel burn while providing 9% more thrust. These engines are also accompanied by an advanced health management system and strong environmental performance, as one would expect with new technology engines. Rolls Royce is also announcing the certification of the Pearl engine. As a result, the new aircraft is not only using a fully certified engine, it is already test flying, making this a low risk program when compared to a clean-sheet design.
But the Global 5500 and Global 6500 improvements go much deeper than a simple re-engining, incorporating many of the features of the Global 7000, now renamed the Global 7500 to reflect its 7,500 nautical mile range. Those features include a next generation wing, with a new profile for the trailing edge and leading edge devices that enable a steep approach. The Global models will be certified for operation at London City Airport, a competitive advantage. The maximum operating speed for the aircraft has also been increased to Mach 0.9, providing additional speed for those who require it. The lightweight wing enables the new Global models to continue their smoother ride characteristics than competing models.
The range for the Global 5500 will be 5,700 nm, and for the Global 6500, 6,600 nm. This provides longer range than the competing Gulfstream 500/600 out of the box, even with a larger cabin. Hot-high performance is also improved, with a 1,300 nm improvement in range from Toluca, Mexico. With the improved range, routes such as LA-Moscow, Hong Kong-London, Sao Paulo-Paris, and Toluca-Madrid become non-stop operations.
The cockpit has been improved, continuing the Bombardier Vision flight deck from Rockwell Collins. This flight deck now combines synthetic vision and infra-red onto the heads-up-display to provide pilots full capability during landings in inclement weather or poor visibility, adding to the pilot friendly design. The aircraft is also ADSB-in, as well as ADSB-out compliant, making it compliant with future air traffic control improvements.
The aircraft interiors bring improvements from the Global 7000 program, including the patented Nuage seat, which operates on a full floating base. This seat includes full swivel capabilities, a tilting headrest, and an operational dip in the seat pan when reclining to keep the passenger in a comfortable position during deep recline.
The entertainment systems for the aircraft are also upgraded to full 4K resolution capability, and does not rely entirely on the built-in capabilities. There is an enclosure that can accommodate non-aircraft certified components, such as an X-Box or Apple TV for use on-board, enabling the latest in technology to be integrated with the in-flight entertainment system. The cabin air systems enables either fresh air, or filtered air with turbocool or turboheat from the engines, which is sometimes necessary in smoggy environments like China where 100% fresh air may not be appropriate. The aircraft also allows full access to the baggage area as the main pressure bulkhead aft of the baggage compartment, enabling passengers to have unlimited access to luggage in flight.
The Bottom Line:
Bombardier has launched two new business jets that are aimed squarely at leapfrogging the competition, which recently introduced its new models. The game of leapfrog continues, and Bombardier has just made the latest leap, upping the game in this segment.