When Bombardier announced two new jets in the Global series—the Global 7000 and 8000—in 2010, the clear intention was that the Canadian manufacturer planned to take away the mantle of building the largest purpose-built business jet from Gulfstream Aerospace’s 7,500-nm G650ER. Originally the two new airplanes were meant to complement each other, with the larger 7000 projected to fly 7,400 nm, while the shorter 8000 would fly the farthest at 7,900 nm.
But times, and markets, change. Bombardier engineers carved out 300 nm more range for the 7000—for a Mach .85 NBAA IFR range of 7,700 nm—and the jet’s moniker was changed to Global 7500. Bombardier also went through some serious financial challenges, resulting in the sale of its C Series regional jet program to Airbus. And while the company says that the Global 8000 remains an ongoing program, not much progress seems to be happening, and perhaps the market doesn’t see the need for anything other than the Global 7500.
Now Bombardier is producing CRJs on the commercial airline side and the Globals (soon to include the upgraded 5500 and 6500), Challenger 350 and 650, and Learjet 70/75 for business aviation customers. Although it no longer owns the C Series program, some of the money spent on developing what is now the Airbus A220 helped bring the Global 7500 to life, specifically the new jet’s fly-by-wire (FBW) flight control system. Both types share the same FBW system architecture, and future Bombardier models might also benefit from all that development spending and effort.
Bombardier’s first-delivered Global 7500, which is busy fulfilling the many requests for demo flights around the world, conveniently touched down at Teterboro Airport in late March. Engineering test pilot Andrew Sibenaler and demo pilot Kerry Swanson took some time out from their busy schedules to meet me at Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, New York, where we figured the reduced congestion compared to Teterboro would make flying a bit easier.
As it turned out, our timing coincided with the back side of a cold front and resulting strong gusty winds, which at more than 30 knots precluded me from flying the takeoff and landing. For this flight, I sat in the jump seat during and takeoff and landing and switched into the left seat with Sibenaler when we climbed above 10,000 feet. This afforded me the opportunity to spend some time checking out the massive four-zone cabin’s remarkably low noise levels and also to shoot some video of the takeoff and landing, which can be viewed on AIN’s YouTube channel.