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When it soars over my office on one of its frequent test flights- it is difficult to discern the Bombardier business jets - Global 5000 prototype from its older- larger sibling- Bombardier’s ground-breaking Global Express ultra-long-range business jet.

Dave Higdon   |   1st April 2004
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Dave Higdon Dave Higdon

Dave Higdon writes about aviation from his base in Wichita Kansas. During three decades in...
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Heading to work for those needing a bit less than the whole world.

When it soars over my office on one of its frequent test flights- it is difficult to discern the Bombardier business jets - Global 5000 prototype from its older- larger sibling- Bombardier’s ground-breaking Global Express ultra-long-range business jet.

From 1-500 feet below- the shorter fuselage of the Global 5000 fails to provide me a clue – probably because the difference is only about 2.6 feet- in favor of the Bombardier Global Express. The wing – and- hence the wing span – matches perfectly- no surprise since the Global 5000 employs the same highly efficient design of the Global Express.

Not even the sound gives away the difference- another non-surprise since both birds fly on the power of the BMW/Rolls-Royce BR710A2-20- in both cases making 14-750 pounds of thrust. Of course- the nacelles even match- and so does the hushed sound of the two designs.

So if the Global Express and the Global 5000 business jets for sale share so much- in size- shape- power – and- as you’ll read- in systems and type ratings – why did Bombardier decide in late 2001 to launch the newer design? As usual in the business aviation arena- because customers told them to – well- sort of.

Bombardier Aerospace spent two years talking to more than 400 business aircraft users to define and decide to make the Bombardier Global 5000 the follow-on to the company’s flagship business jet for sale. By following where the customers wanted to go- Bombardier later this year will begin delivering a new Global business jet that costs about 25 percent less than a Bombardier Global Express aircraft for sale while delivering about 80 percent of the Express’ range capabilities- as well as shorter runway requirements and lower operating costs. It is those traits that combine to make a corporate jet with wider market appeal and- as such- better sales prospects.

The appeal:

As noted above- customers clued Bombardier Aerospace into the idea of a business jet neatly fitting between the Bombardier Global Express business jet for sale and the company’s large-cabin Challenger business jet for sale line. It was- as the advertising gurus say- ‘an idea with legs’ – in this case- legs capable of covering 4-800 nautical miles- with NBAA IFR reserves- at Mach 0.85.

By comparison- the Global Express can cover just over 6-000 nautical at the same speed carrying eight passengers and a crew of four. What makes the ‘big’ difference between the two owes more to fuel capacity than anything else. The Global Express employs a fuel capacity of 43-170 pounds in order to achieve its lengthy range. The Global 5000 carries a maximum of 36-000 pounds of fuel to achieve its maximum range.

While the capacity differences obviously account for the range disparity- it also helps the Bombardier Global 5000 in runway and climb performance. At 87-700 pounds maximum take-off weight- the Global 5000 business jets for sale can climb faster on less fuel than its larger hangar mate with its 95-000-pound maximum take-off weight.

The Global 5000 offers expanded flexibility that opens up more airports thanks to a gross-weight runway requirement of 5-000 feet for take-off at gross weight; landings require 2-700 feet. The ‘bigger’ Global Express- on the other hand- requires 5-820 feet of runway to take off at gross weight and 2-190 feet to land.

We put ‘bigger’ in inverted commas for a reason. As touched on above- the Global 5000 business jet stretches a whole 96.8 feet in length- a scant 2.6 feet shorter than the Global Express- at 99.4 feet in overall length.

Since both business aircraft share the same fuselage structure- both boast the same 6.3-foot cabin height- 8.2-foot maximum width and 6.9-foot width at floor level. Overall- internal passenger-cabin length comes in at 37 feet for the Global 5000- 44 feet for the Express – partly due to the need for added crew in the longer-legged of the two.

Size alone doesn’t make up a lot of difference between the two Bombardier business jets- but taken together- the differences between the two Bombardier Global jets add up to quite a sum- price wise. A Global 5000 aircraft for sale will sell for about $33.5 million- roughly 25 percent less than the $44.4 million price of a comparably equipped Global Express.

Cabin design:

Inside the Global 5000 jet- the folks working within that expansive cabin can look forward to systems designed to enhance both work and relaxation. The cabin represents the latest advancements in ergonomics- productivity and ambiance technology. Enhancements include new body heat-activated seats that adjust to a passenger’s physique- enlarged window overlays offering up to 40 percent more natural light over previous designs- and a new contoured cabin periphery that creates a greater sense of intimacy. Passengers will also enjoy a superior cabin ambiance thanks to next-generation light emitting diode technology.

In addition- this business airplane for sale is equipped with a revolutionary Ethernet-based cabin electronic system delivering the same high-caliber working capabilities comparable to any ground office.

It features: three communication channels linked with the Inmarsat satellite network and one channel for use with the Iridium satellite constellation; a high speed data channel transferring up to 64 kilobits per second; both wired and wireless telephones; dual aircraft avionics grade Local Area Networks (LAN) with dual servers; and in-cabin printer and fax capabilities. It is unlikely that the working passengers will ever be out of reach of the home office.

The Front Office:

With six displays- plenty of redundancy and total integration- the Honeywell Primus XP standard on the Global corporate jet line delivers everything flight crews need to manage the aircraft and navigate safely along the world’s airways.

Two screens serve as primary flight displays and controls for the flight-management system. These screens display attitude indication- air-data display and more. Two other screens serve as multifunction displays for keeping track of flight progress and hazards such as traffic- weather and terrain. The two remaining screens serve as Primary and Secondary EICAS displays- keeping the crew informed of the aircraft systems’ health and function.

With a central console for the throttles and FMS input heads- there is little for the crew to have to reach for when managing a flight. Moreover- with the ability to shift information from a failed display to another functioning screen- the redundancy built into the Global 5000 business jet is complete.

Travel is the point:

With balanced field length requirements as low as 5-000 feet- the Global 5000 offers users access to far more airports than its older sibling- despite lacking the globetrotting credentials of the Bombardier business jets - Global Express.

For example- in Wichita the Global Express crew undoubtedly feels more comfortable departing ICT on a warm spring day- thanks to runways as long as 10-000 feet in length. However- the business operating the Global 5000 will enjoy the option of using Col. James Jabara Airport (AAO) in East Wichita- where the runway stretches to barely 6-000 feet – a tribute to the shorter runway requirements of Bombardier’s ‘smaller’ Global business jet family member.

That means the crew flying a Bombardier Global Express in from Tokyo to California can opt for Van Nuys as comfortably as LAX. Or if flying in London- Dallas is certainly an option – as are Tulsa- Greenville- Mississippi- Kansas City Downtown or Topeka- Kansas.

With 4-800 nautical available- the Bombardier Global 5000 will easily connect Paris to Chicago- New York to Cairo- Chicago to Athens- even Rio to Marseilles or London to Salt Lake City (at speeds faster than competing business jets).

Enhancing this flexibility is Bombardier’s work to certify the Global 5000 for Extended Twin Engine Operations- or ETOPS. ETOPS allows flights as much as three hours away from alternative airports on extended over-water flights.

With ETOPS approval- the Global 5000 gains the degree of flexibility needed to efficiently fly routes such as Rio to Marseilles and Tokyo to Los Angeles. Otherwise- routing requirements would make some of these missions two-leg- one-stop flights – unnecessarily adding time and expense to a trip.

Rapid progress marks development

Bombardier announced the Global 5000 in October 2001 and announced the formal launch of the new business jet the following February- 2002.

Within a year the staff at Bombardier’s main plant in Montreal assembled the first prototype- launched it on its maiden flight- transferred the jet to the Bombardier Flight Test Center at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport (ICT)- and logged more than 100 test flights. The prototype flew to its service ceiling of 51-000 msl and cleared all aircraft system tests- including the autopilot series.

Just a few weeks prior to this writing- on January 9- 2004- to be precise- Bombardier’s Toronto crew flew the maiden flight of the second and final Global 5000 test bed. The aircraft is now being equipped with a production interior.

This second prototype- S/N 9130- is to be flown to validate the environmental control system- with the start of interior function and reliability testing to follow before the jet joins the first as part of the two-aircraft flight test program. 'This second test aircraft will play a critical role in increasing aircraft maturity at entry into service-' explained Robert Duffield- Bombardier’s director of the Global 5000 program.

'It will be used to validate our interior engineering and manufacturing processes-' Duffield continued. 'Each interior system will also undergo ground endurance testing to replicate the expected cycles on the aircraft.'

In the meantime- production continues and deliveries of ‘green’ Bombardier Global 5000s will begin in the second quarter of 2004. Deliveries of completed aircraft will begin in the fourth quarter.

• During March of this year the Global 5000 received its Transport Canada Type Approval.

• More information from website: www.aero.bombardier.com

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