Global 7000 in flight
Global 7000 in flight

Bombardier’s Global 7000 and 8000

Bombardier announced its Global 7000 and 8000 long-range business jets in 2010, an apparent response to Gulfstream’s G650. That model has done well since its 2012 certification, with more than 100 delivered through the end of last year.
Performance figures for the new Globals are comparable to the ones for the G650, which has a top speed of Mach 0.925 versus Mach 0.90 for both Bombardier models. Range for the Global 7000 and slightly shorter Global 8000 will be 7,300 and 7,900 nautical miles, respectively. (For both Bombardier aircraft, the range figures are based on 10 passengers, four crew and a cruising speed of 487 knots/Mach 0.85.) The G650’s range, according to Gulfstream, is 7,000 nautical miles; and a variant introduced last year, the $67 million G650ER, has a range of 7,500 nautical miles.
Both of the forthcoming Bombardier models use the current Global 6000 fuselage but stretch it—the 7000 by about 11 feet and the 8000 by about two. With 2,637 cubic feet of cabin space, the Global 7000 offers substantially more cabin room than the Gulfstream’s 2,138. The Global 8000’s cabin is marginally larger too, at 2,236 cubic feet. However, the G650 cabin is two inches taller and four inches wider than the Globals’, which are six feet, three inches tall and eight feet, two inches wide.
The Globals will feature full fly-by-wire flight controls; a new, thin high-speed wing; fuel-efficient GE Passport engines (16,500 pounds of thrust each); and the Bombardier Global Vision flight deck. The latter is based on Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics, with side-stick pilot controls and the latest touchscreens and safety features. Pro Line is the first avionics system with synthetic vision on a head-up display—a visor that folds down and presents the pilot with all the necessary aircraft performance, mapping and terrain information—making for excellent situational awareness even in the worst weather.
GE reported in May that the new engines concluded flight testing with more than 100 hours and 20 sorties. The engines should deliver new metrics of quiet, low emissions and vibration, reliability and economy. They are based on the guts of the high-efficiency CFM Leap engines being developed for new-generation Airbuses and Boeings. Among the technologies incorporated into the engines are a 52-inch titanium “blisk,” a single forging of the fan blades and turbine disk that saves weight and reduces vibration; a lightweight, aerodynamic nacelle—the casing around the engine; and a “super-finish” on the blisks and compressor blades that improves efficiency by smoothing air flow.
Aside from their new engines, wings, flight controls and impressive range and speed, the forthcoming Globals promise increased passenger comfort. Features include a hyper-quiet cabin divided into three- or four-zone layouts; a galley that is 20 percent larger than that on the Global 6000, with double convection/microwave and convection/steam capabilities; a mid-cabin/self-serve galley; redesigned and larger crew rest areas; panoramic passenger windows that give the cabin an airy feel; improved heating and cooling; redesigned seats; a center lounge/media room with 42- to 50-inch flat-screen monitors; adjustable color LEDs in the ceiling; a conference/dining table that seats six; a private stateroom; an optional stand-up steam shower; a more robust environmental-control system; and a capacious 195-cubic-foot baggage hold.
Tim Fagan, Bombardier’s industrial-design manager for the new Globals, says his team immersed itself in structural details to ensure mundane things like even window spacing, maximum flexibility of cabin layouts and retention of popular features from the Global 6000. The forthcoming Globals also feature more comfortable passenger seats that incorporate a forward rocking motion “like you have on your recliner at home.” An integrated cabin-management and in-flight-entertainment system will allow passengers to control LED lighting and window shades as well as have communication, entertainment and information access and streaming via their personal smart devices “just like they do at home” with the same content providers via new high-speed, Ka-band satellite technology.
The systems will let passengers receive prompts based on their activity on the aircraft. For example, once you select a movie for viewing, you’ll be prompted to set the lighting to “movie mode,” automatically lowering cabin illumination and dropping nearby window shades.
“We’re building on our success with the Global 6000 by adding a variety of small improvements on the new airplanes,” says Fagan. “When you collect all these small improvements together, we think it will have a significant impact on the passengers.”


Bombardier’s Troubles Come to a Head
There has been trouble at Bombardier for a while, most of which has had nothing to do with business jets. The company is developing an airliner called the CSeries, but it is two years behind schedule and hundreds of millions over budget. Meanwhile, Airbus and Boeing are introducing more fuel-efficient versions of their respective A320 and 737 models that Bombardier hoped to compete against. Nevertheless, it is soldiering on with the CSeries, even though the resultng financial strain prompted it to suspend development of its Learjet 85, leaving that storied brand with no genuinely new offerings. The CSeries also has diverted resources from the new Globals.
Over the last several years, Bombardier’s ­business jet division has laid off thousands. In May, the company announced that it would terminate another 1,750 employees and slow production of its Global 5000 and 6000.  
Bombardier’s share price has dropped almost 70 percent over the past 12 months and, as of mid-July, the entire company had a market ­capitalization of just $4.3 billion. That’s extraordinary when you consider that Bombardier sold $7.56 billion worth of bizjets alone last year, second only to Gulfstream, and overall had 2014 revenues of $20.1 billion.
Bankers exacted a price for the equivalent of a third mortgage: the replacement of the CEO. Alain Bellemare joined Bombardier from engine-maker Pratt & Whitney Canada in February and is the first executive outside the Bombardier family to head the company in its 78-year history. Bellemare has moved quickly to cut costs and is considering the sale of a stake in Bombardier’s European-based railcar division later this year. The latest cash injection of $2.25 billion should be enough to keep things going through the rest of the year.
Regardless of whether the CSeries aircraft ultimately succeeds or fails, Bombardier may need to enlist the help of a substantial risk-sharing partner on it, or the entire company may need to be reorganized. Meanwhile, the Global family continues to generate the lion’s share of the profit for its business-jet division, making it all the more critical for Bombardier to get the 7000 and 8000 models to market as soon as possible. —M.H.


Want One? You’ll Have to Wait
Following a two-year program delay announced by Bombardier in late July, the new Globals are scheduled to enter service in 2018 and 2019, respectively. (Opting for a G650 won’t necessarily get you an airplane much sooner, as Gulfstream has a multi-year backlog for that rival aircraft.) Bombardier is believed to have commitments for about 100 Global 7000s and 8000s, with major players such as fractional-ownership leader NetJets having placed orders for the aircraft.
The first Global 7000 is just now being assembled, and Bombardier has yet to confirm when it will make its first flight. What remains to be seen is the extent to which the delayed service entry will allow Gulfstream to stretch its market lead in the new-generation, large-cabin, long-range space. —M.H.


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