Bombardier’s Global 7000 flight test fleet has flown more than 500h, and the airframer is now ramping-up production of the ultra-long-range business jet in preparation for its entry-into-service in mid-2018.
The Global 7000 flight test campaign kicked off in November 2016 with the debut sortie of the first prototype, FTV1, from Bombardier’s Downsview, Toronto manufacturing plant.
The GE Aviation Passport-powered aircraft then proceeded to Bombardier’s US flight test facility in Wichita, Kansas, where it was joined by aircraft FTV2 and FTV3 in March and May 2017, respectively.
The trio have been used to evaluate the Global 7000’s propulsion, avionics, electrical and mechanical systems. “Notable milestones include completing hot weather and cold weather environmental tests as low as -40˚C [-40˚F] and successfully demonstrating the aircraft’s long-range navigation capabilities by flying over the North Pole region,” Bombardier says.
In March, FTV1 became the largest business jet to reach an operating speed of Mach 0.995; five-thousandths of a Mach number below supersonic speed. The aircraft is designed with a maximum operating speed of M0.925.
Michel Ouellette, senior vice-president for the Global 7000 and Global 8000 programme, says the flight-test aircraft have met all performance and reliability expectations for this stage in the programme. The pace of testing will continue to accelerate with the two remaining FTV aircraft, which are now in an advanced stage of production and are scheduled to join the certification campaign over the coming weeks.
“Our confidence level is high as we accumulate more flight hours and push towards entry-into-service in the second half of 2018,” says Oullette.
FTV4 will be equipped with a full production interior, while FTV5 will serve as the entry-into-service validation aircraft, Bombardier says.
The company has begun to ramp up Global 7000 production in Downsview, where “several” customer-owned examples are now in final assembly.
The 7,400nm (13,700km)-range Global 7000 is the largest and longest-range business jet in Bombardier’s seven-strong line-up. Priced at $ 73 million, the flagship aircraft features a full fly-by-wire flight control system – derived from the architecture developed for the company’s CSeries aircraft family – and a Vision flightdeck, which is based on the Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics suite.