(Photo: Adobe Stock)
Adobe Stock

Noteworthy New Aircraft

The slew of new business aircraft coming to market offer marked improvements in range, comfort, convenience, connectivity, and safety. While some are fresh designs, most of the ones described below build on existing airframes, tweaking aerodynamics while adding engine power, new-generation avionics with the latest safety features, and enhanced cabin amenities.

Bombardier Global 7500 (Photo: David McIntosh)
Bombardier Global 7500 (Photo: David McIntosh)

Bombardier Global 7500

Passengers:    14

Range:            7,700 nm (8 passengers)

Price:              $73 million

The Bombardier Global 7500 uses the same fuselage cross section as its legacy predecessors (six feet, three inches tall and eight feet, two inches wide) but stretches it by 11 feet to provide 2,637 cubic feet of cabin space. Virtually everything else about the aircraft is new, including the larger cabin windows and proprietary Nuage passenger seats.

Also new are the GE Aviation Passport engines, which are based on the guts of the high-efficiency CFM Leap models 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 disk that saves weight and reduces vibration.

The 7500 also features full fly-by-wire flight controls; a new, thin high-speed wing; and the Bombardier Global Vision flight deck. The latter is based on Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics, with side-stick pilot controls and the latest displays and safety features. Top speed is Mach 0.925.

The hyper-quiet cabin can be divided into three or four zones. You can equip the forward galley with multiple ovens, including a double convection/microwave and a convection/steam model. The redesigned crew rest area is larger than the ones on earlier models. The aft lav can be fitted with a steam shower, and you can access the capacious 195-cubic-foot baggage hold from the cabin at any altitude. The 7500 comes standard with Bombardier’s Wave satcom (the Honeywell JetWave system that runs on Inmarsat’s Ka-band satellite network).

Gulfstream G600 (Photo: Mark Wagner)
Gulfstream G600 (Photo: Mark Wagner)

Gulfstream G600

Passengers:    19

Range:            6,500 nm (8 passengers)

Price:              $54.5 million

Deliveries of Gulfstream’s large-cabin G600 jet began earlier this year. It features full digital fly-by-wire flight controls, modern avionics, a noticeably wider cabin than legacy models such as the G450 and G550, and engines that are 15 to 20 percent more fuel efficient than those on earlier large-cabin aircraft. Power for the G600 comes from Pratt & Whitney Canada’s new PW815GA powerplants, which have the same core technology as the company’s geared turbofan airliner engines. They have a 10,000-hour time-between-overhaul limit and no midlife-inspection requirement. 

The G600’s cabin cross section measures 91 inches wide and 74 inches tall—about seven inches wider and two inches taller than cabins in the G450 and G550—and the aircraft can be configured for up to 19 passengers with four living zones as well as an optional crew rest area. The G600 also features a new passenger single-seat design with all seat controls on the inboard armrests and pockets sculpted into the interior arms for more hip room.

The cabin is extremely quiet—the noise level is less than 50 dBA—and cabin altitude is 4,850 feet at 51,000 feet with 100 percent fresh air. The aircraft offers the same large oval windows that the G650 employs, plus forward and aft lavatories and a full-size galley that can be located either forward or aft. The 195-cubic-foot baggage hold is accessible in flight. The flight deck features computerized fly-by-wire controls and more ergonomic active-control sidesticks as well as the new touchscreen Symmetry flight deck, which is driven by Honeywell Primus Epic avionics.

Embraer Praetor 500 and 600 (Photo: Mark Wagner)
Embraer Praetor 500 and 600 (Photo: Mark Wagner)

Embraer Praetor 500 and 600

Passengers:    7–9 (500), 8–12 (600)

Range:          3,340 nm (500), 4,018 nm (600) (4 passengers)

Price:              $16.995 million (500), $20.995 million (600)

Embraer has retooled its midsize and super-midsize cabin offerings with new interiors, more fuel capacity, new winglets, increased engine thrust, and updated avionics. Both the Praetor 500 and 600 offer a 5,800-foot cabin altitude and a six-foot-high flat-floor cabin. The 600’s cabin is three and a half feet longer than the 500’s. New “Bossa Nova” interiors in both models incorporate redesigned seat stitching, carbon-fiber accents, and a minimum of visible switchology. The latter is largely thanks to upper tech panel, which displays flight information and provides cabin-management-system features for Honeywell’s Ovation Select. Gogo Vision is optional with installation of the Gogo Avance L5 air-to-ground connectivity system. Both models offer a new global airborne connectivity option with the Viasat Ka-band satcom and IPTV.

The Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics in both aircraft have new capabilities, including a MultiScan radar system that adds vertical weather and predictive windshear guidance to reduce the likelihood of severe-weather surprises; cockpit display of ADS-B In traffic, which provides enhanced situational awareness for the pilots; and a synthetic vision guidance system that allows approaches in low ceilings. The enhanced flight vision system with Collins head-up display and camera, and a Honeywell inertial reference system for precise navigation, are optional on both aircraft.

These models also feature larger winglets and additional fuel capacity; the 500 carries 950 pounds more fuel while the 600 can hold 2,928 pounds more, thanks in part to two belly-mounted fuel tanks. The extra fuel helps boost range in the 500 and 600 by about 350 and 900 nautical miles, respectively. With the extra weight comes the need for more pavement for takeoff; fully loaded, the 500 requires 4,222 feet of runway while the heftier 600 needs 4,717 feet.

Cessna Citation Longitude (Photo: Barry Ambrose)
Cessna Citation Longitude (Photo: Barry Ambrose)

Cessna Citation Longitude

Passengers:     8–12

Range:             3,500 nm (4 passengers)

Price:               $26.9 million

Cessna’s long-awaited entrant into the crowded super-midsize derby received FAA type certification in September. Textron Aviation is positioning the Longitude as a superior value proposition with regard to both acquisition and life cycle—a main reason it eschews expensive systems like full fly-by-wire flight controls. (It has limited fly by wire for the rudder, spoilers, and brakes (“brake by wire”).

The Longitude features the Garmin G5000 flat-panel touchscreen avionics system (similar to the avionics in the new midsize Citation Latitude) with optional head-up display and enhanced vision system, a fast cruise speed of 476 knots, and a full-fuel payload of 1,600 pounds. The aircraft will be equipped with the LinxUs system to provide real-time maintenance monitoring and solutions, including when it is airborne. It also has more user-friendly maintenance access ports than past models.

The aircraft shares the midsize Citation Latitude’s flat-floor cabin cross section—six feet tall and more than six feet wide—making it the narrowest in class. A variety of configurations will be available for the 25-foot-long cabin, with passenger seating for up to 12, although eight to nine will be typical; a full forward galley; and an aft lav with vacuum flushing toilet. The 112-cubic-foot baggage compartment will be accessible in flight. 

The stock galley features a sink with potable water, plus ice drawers and ample stowage; but items such as convection and microwave ovens are extra-cost options. Natural light throughout the cabin comes from 14 large windows. A wireless cabin-management system that controls the LED lighting also delivers a menu of information/entertainment choices, such as SiriusXM and moving maps. You can operate the system via onboard touchscreens, controllers, or smart devices (with a downloaded app). Iridium satcom is standard.

HondaJet Elite (Photo: Mark Wagner)
HondaJet Elite (Photo: Mark Wagner)

HondaJet Elite

Passengers:    5–6

Range:          1,437 nm (2–3 passengers)

Price:              $5.25 million

This upgraded HondaJet, which the manufacturer began delivering last year, features enhanced avionics, aerodynamic cleanups, and interior improvements that result in more range, shorter runway requirements, and a quieter cabin. The avionics updates to the Garmin G3000 system include faster processors and stability and underspeed protection. More fuel capacity combined with trimming 100 pounds from the old aircraft have increased range by more than 200 nautical miles while adding nearly 200 pounds of payload capacity. (Overall, the aircraft’s weight is up 100 pounds due to the extra fuel.)

Aerodynamic cleanups include an extended horizontal stabilizer, tighter hinge gaps, and scuttling of the vortex generators (those little razor-blade-looking things placed on wings and stabilizers to improve lift). A new engine inlet design reduces noise in the cabin and outside the aircraft.

The belted lav seat is now certified for takeoff and landing, adding extra passenger capacity for those who take the aircraft with the optional forward galley in place of the side-facing single passenger seat opposite the entry door. You now also have a wider selection of interior fabric and aircraft paint choices as well as the option of ordering the speakerless, transducer-based Bongiovi audio system with signal processing, which provides surround sound even when you’re wearing headphones.

Daher TBM 940
Daher TBM 940

Daher TBM 940

Passengers:    4–5

Range:            1,730 nm (1 pilot, no passengers)

Price:              $4.13 million

Earlier this year, Daher unveiled the TBM 940, an upgraded version of its Model 930 single-engine turboprop. New features include integrated Garmin autothrottle with single-lever power control, automatic deicing, and cabin improvements such as redesigned passenger seats, more cabin insulation, a new storage shelf, and one additional 115-volt electric cabin outlet and USB port. The 940 also features a temperature controller in the cabin and heated passenger seats.

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