Bombardier’s unveiling of the Global 7000 mock-up has generated strong traffic flows through the exhibit. The thrust of the marketing campaign is more quality of lifestyle than pure business use.
“When we launched Global 7000 and Global 8000 in 2010, it was a very bold move that redefined ultra-long-range jets for our customers. We designed them in collaboration with them. These aircraft suit their lifestyles,” says Éric Martel, president of Bombardier Business Aircraft. “It feels like you’re at home.”
The $75 million, 7,300-nm-range Global 7000, slated to enter service in 2016, has a cabin that’s 11.3 ft. longer than that of Global 6000, providing sufficient length for the first four-zone cabin in a purpose-built business jet. For buyers needing more range, the $71 million Global 800 arrives a year later.
“The world requires more connectivity. Global 8000, with 7,900-nm range, will be the world’s range leader, with at least 400 nm more range than the recently announced G650ER from Gulfstream.”
Martel notes that Bombardier also is expecting strong sales of its eight- to nine-seat Challenger 350, a longer-range, more efficient variant of the BD-100 Challenger 300. Initial deliveries of Signature Series Challenger 350 to NetJets are slated for second quarter, and NetJets Europe plans to take delivery of the aircraft in mid-2015.
Less assured is the future of the Learjet product line. Progress on the all-composite Learjet 85 is cloaked in secrecy. Martel declines to disclose how many missions and hours have been flown to date in the flight-test program that formally began with its much delayed first flight on April 9, 2014.
Learjet 85 is the industry’s first all-composite business jet, a controversial move considering the market rejection of the composite-fuselage Beech Premier 1 and Hawker 4000 aircraft. Similar to Raytheon Aircraft’s difficulties with composite construction, Bombardier initially had problems at its Quéretaro, Mexico, composites facility. Those growing pains are history, according to Martel.
“We now do have a recipe that works, one that repeats,” Martel says. He adds that midsize-jet buyers are looking for lower-cost airplanes and that the cost savings of moving to composite construction will be in part passed through in the purchase price.
Martel isn’t disclosing order numbers, but says that Flexjet has placed a fleet order.
Fred George | ShowNews
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