Global 6500
Bombardier’s new Global 6500 features new-generation Rolls-Royce Pearl engines. (Photo: Chad Trautvetter/AIN)

Bombardier Adds Pair of New Globals

Bombardier rolled out two new members of the Global family—the 5500 and 6500—during a recent celebration in Geneva, just prior to the opening of the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) 2018.

Set to enter service in late 2019, the new Globals present the “longest range, the clearest vision, the largest cabin, the sharpest entertainment, and the smoothest ride” in their class, combining improved performance with the Global DNA, said Bombardier Business Aviation president David Coleal, standing alongside the Global 6500 flight-test vehicle at the TAG Aviation FBO at Geneva International Airport.

The newest models—which will join the Global 5000 and 6000 on the production lines rather than supplanting them—will be powered by new 15,125-pound-thrust Rolls-Royce Pearl engines. Certified in February and being tested aboard Global 6500 and 5500 flight-test vehicles, the Pearl 15 engines offer one of the most advanced cores for fuel efficiency, reduced environmental footprint, and advanced engine-health monitoring, Coleal said, calling the engines a "stunning feat of technology."

But beyond the engines, these latest Globals incorporate “new features from tip to tail as well as from wingtip to wingtip,” Coleal said. This includes a wing with a re-profiled trailing edge for better aerodynamics and high-speed performance, but with the characteristics of the traditional Global wing that provide a smooth ride, he said. The wing incorporates the same leading-edge slats, flaps, and spoilers.

The combination of the new engine and redesigned wing produce faster models with a top speed of Mach 0.90, compared with Mach 0.89 on the Global 5000 and 6000. Fuel burn is also decreased by up to 13 percent, which Coleal noted makes the aircraft not only “greener” but improves on operating costs.

These changes further boost range of the Global 5500 to 5,700 nautical miles (500 nautical miles more than the 5000's range), and the Global 6500 to 6,600 nautical miles (600 more than the 6000's range). The benefits are particularly notable in conditions such as hot and high. “Performance on a regular day is one thing, but the real test comes when conditions are different,” Coleal said. The new Globals can fly 1,300 nautical miles farther from Toluca, Mexico, than their predecessors. This reach is made possible by increased thrust, he said, which allows for short-distance takeoffs with more fuel.

The additional range enables the Global 5500 to connect São Paolo, Brazil, and Paris, as well as Moscow and Los Angeles; and the 6500 to connect Hong Kong or Singapore and London, as well as Toluca, Mexico, and Madrid.

Inside the aircraft, the Rockwell Collins Fusion–powered Vision flight deck will have the “clearest vision” in business aviation, Coleal said. The cockpit is the business aviation launch application of Rockwell Collins's combined vision system, which merges infrared enhanced vision and synthetic vision system into a single view.

In addition, the cockpit comes with a new “safety and situational awareness package” that includes features such as advanced weather radar detection with predictive windshear, ADS-B In with real-time traffic information, and advanced airport moving maps, along with an improved terrain database.

The cabin includes a dedicated rest area and a kitchen placed in front of the aircraft—“where it belongs,” said Coleal—with designer-home features such as a steam oven that allows for gourmet meal options. Additionally, the latest Globals are fitted with new cabinets and countertops.

Further, the cabin suite adopts the patented Nuage seat that is also fitted within the larger Global 7000. Coleal called it the first new seat architecture in business aviation in more than 30 years and the “most comfortable seat in the skies.” The Nuage seat features deep recline for rest, a patented tilt-link system to dip the base of the seat as the back reclines, and a tiltable headrest to optimize neck support.

The conference/dining suites in the Global 5500 and 6500 are equipped with the Nuage “chaise.” Unique to these two aircraft models, the chaise provides traditional divan-style seating for business meetings. But it can also reshape into a lounge configuration, where a person can recline and lie back. This design was inspired by company executives who noticed that people tend to sit on the credenza. “Our design team took it from there,” he said. The chaise will be patented similarly to the Nuage seat.

In the rear is a private suite designed as a “secluded retreat” with a new en-suite that has two dedicated windows, additional storage, and a walk-in shower option. The aircraft have in-flight accessible pressurized baggage space.

The Global 5500 and 6500 will incorporate Ka-band high-speed connectivity. This has become a selling point with customers, Coleal said, noting that the lack of internet is becoming an AOG item. The entertainment system displays 4k ultra-high resolution. As for as the environmental system, the cabin incorporates options for 100 percent fresh air and turbo cool or heat, which enable quicker temperature changes.

These enhancements come as Bombardier is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Global family. With more than 750 Globals in service, the company has gotten a “clear idea” of the options and enhancements customers would like to see—such as the improved hot-and-high performance—as well as the mainstays they would like to keep, Coleal said.

The 6500 is making a brief appearance in Geneva for the unveiling but will return to the flight-test program in preparation for entry into service next year. Coleal said the two flight-test vehicles will be sufficient to see the program through certification.

Plans call for integrating the models into the current the current 5000 and 6000 production lines, as well as into the completion lines. The completion lines are transferring to Wichita, Kansas, for the 5000/5500, and a new location in Montreal for the 6000/6500. Coleal said demand remains strong for the 5000 and 6000, and Bombardier will continue producing all four variants as long as demand dictates.

The 5500 and 6500 actually have lower list prices, at $46 million and $56 million, respectively. The 5000 and 6000 are listed at $50.4 million and $62.3 million, but Bombardier executives stress the market will dictate ultimate pricing.