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Aircraft: Global Warming

In 1993, bombardier introduced the Global Express, an ultralarge business jet capable of 14-hour flights at Mach 0.85. Last October, the Canadian company announced it would launch the Global 5000, a smaller, shorter-range, superlarge alternative to its ultralarge big brother—one that can fly at the same speed, take off from shorter runways, and save you more than $5 million.

The Global 5000 ($32.95 million) is scheduled for delivery in late 2004, and Bombardier had received 40 letters of intent as of January. The jet has an aft lavatory and forward galley that are smaller than those on the Global Express ($37.7 million), allowing Bombardier to preserve the size of the seating area almost entirely, although the plane is five feet shorter than the Global Express.

The Global 5000 can carry as many as 19 passengers, but the cabin can also be designed to seat eight fliers in club chairs and sofas. You can work and hold meetings in the front of the cabin, while in the back of the jet, you can pull out a couch into a full-size bed. The Global 5000’s cabin offers 12 percent more space than its closest competitor, says Luc Fouquette, Bombardier’s general manager of global programs. Bombardier is targeting the Gulfstream IV-SP and the Dassault Falcon 900EX as the competition in the superlarge jet market.

Range and speed, however, will be the Global 5000’s forte. The jet has a maximum range of more than 5,520 land miles and can fly nonstop for a maximum of 10 hours. It cruises at Mach 0.85, or approximately 560 mph—the same speed as the larger Global Express, which has a maximum range of approximately 6,900 land miles.

The 900EX has a range of 5,175 land miles, while the GIV-SP has an approximate range of 4,850 land miles at a cruising speed of Mach 0.80. Bombardier claims that the Global 5000 could complete a trip from Le Bourget, France, to White Plains, N.Y., in seven hours and 37 minutes, half an hour faster than the 900EX and 40 minutes faster than the GIV-SP.

Marc Bouliane, director of product and program management for Bombardier’s global programs, says the Global 5000, outfitted with a typical interior and full fuel tank, will perform better than its competitors under similar conditions. The 900EX will cruise at Mach 0.74 and the GIV-SP will cruise at Mach 0.77, while the Global 5000 can maintain a cruising speed of Mach 0.85, according to Bouliane. “If the owners load their aircraft the way they are supposed to, the difference between the aircraft is even more dramatic,” says Bouliane.

Bombardier eliminated the additional aft fuselage fuel tank from the Global Express, making the Global 5000 approximately 7,000 pounds lighter. The company says the Global 5000, departing at maximum weight, will have a standard takeoff field length of 5,000 feet.

The GIV-SP requires 5,450 feet, while the 900EX needs 5,035 feet at takeoff. On shorter trips, filled with less fuel, the Global 5000 could require as little as 2,700 feet of runway. The ultralarge Global Express requires 5,820 feet for standard takeoff. “What we have is greater range, greater speed, a more comfortable and spacious cabin,” says Fouquette, “and we offer all of this at a price similar to our competitors.”

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