The much-anticipated Bombardier Global 8000 business jet proved to be quite the show stopper when it broke cover at the European business aviation show in Geneva this week. The long-promised 8,000nm aircraft was revealed at the show as “the world’s fastest and longest-range purpose-built business jet,” which should help it become the perfect billionaires’ toy when it enters service in 2025. According to the Canadian aircraft manufacturer, the Global 8000 business jet is built “for a new era where the fastest speed, the longest range, and the smoothest ride converge in a single business aircraft with proven reliability and the healthiest, best-connected cabin in the industry.”
The in-development Global 8000 is an upgraded version of the existing Bombardier Global 7500 – a long-range business jet that was launched in 2016 and entered service in 2018. Initially, the Global 8000 was intended to be a shorter three-zone aircraft. But it had to be updated into a long-range version of the 7500 with a range of over 8000nm (roughly 9200 miles) as a response to Gulfstream’s 8,000nm-range G800 that was launched earlier this year. However, the Bombardier is confident that the Global 8000 will sit at the top of the pyramid as the longest-range production business jet in its class.
While range is one of the leading deciding factors for business jet buyers, another crucial performance figure that matters is its top speed. Aircraft manufacturers have long competed against each other to bring the fastest business jet to the market. The Gulfstream G650 currently holds the record with a top speed of Mach 0.925. However, Bombardier wants to usurp the leader with its Global 8000, which is claimed to have a top speed of Mach 0.94 – the fastest time in business aviation. In fact, the Canadian company heavily modified a 7500 into a proof-of-concept demonstrator for the Global 8000 which regularly broke the sound barrier during testing. It managed to clock a top speed of Mach 1.015 while being accompanied by a NASA F/A-18 chase plane during one of those test flights. Bombardier also claimed the test flights were conducted using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), which is a first for a Transport Category aircraft.
“The Global 8000 aircraft leverages the outstanding attributes of the Global 7500 aircraft, providing our customers with a flagship aircraft of a new era,” said Éric Martel, president and CEO of Bombardier. The aircraft has a wingspan of 104 ft (31.7 m) and it has been specially designed to operate from short runways, which has been made possible thanks to its Smooth Flĕx Wing. It is powered by a pair of GE Passport engines that can produce 18,920 lb of thrust, which not only gives it a near Mach 1 speed but also a flight ceiling of 51,000 ft (15,600 m). The Global 8000 will use the same fuselage as the Global 7500, which means it will have a cabin big enough to accommodate up to 19 passengers depending on the layout. Interestingly, the owners of Global 7500 will also be able to upgrade their jet to the specifications of 8000.
The aircraft is come equipped with a suite of advanced avionics, including four large displays, fly-by-wire side stick flight controls, a Head-Up Display (HUD), Enhanced Vision System (EVS), Synthetic Vision System (SVS), graphical flight planning, Multi-Scan weather radar, and Performance Based Navigation (PBN). Bombardier also claimed the Global 8000 will have the lowest cabin altitude with a pressure equivalent to 2,900 ft (884 m) when flying at 41,000 ft (12,500 m). The cabin’s Dynamic Daylight Simulation lighting that uses red and blue LEDs is programmed to stimulate or suppress the body’s production of melatonin and helps reduce jet lag. Additionally, the cabin will also have the cleanest air thanks to its HEPA filtration system that will renew the air circuited inside every 90 seconds.
It’s been more than two decades since the legendary supersonic passenger jet Concorde was retired, but the aviation industry is still struggling to introduce a replacement to fill the void. Quite a few entities across the world working hard to bring back supersonic passenger jets, including the likes of Colorado-based Boom Supersonic which landed a deal from United Airlines last year to supply 15 supersonic aircraft by the end of this decade. However, it hasn’t been smooth sailing for many of these companies that have struggled to secure the funding needed for research and development. Florida-based aviation startup Aerion had to shut shop last year. Nevertheless, we are still some time away from supersonic passenger jets making a return and till then business jets like the Global 8000 continue to dominate the skies.