Bombardier launches Global 8000
At EBACE Bombardier has just announced the launch of the Global 8000. The aircraft, which has the same fuselage as the Global 7500, will have an 8000nm range and fly at Mach 0.94. This means that Bombardier can say it is the fastest business jet available.
The Global 8000 can carry eight passengers between London and Perth, Australia or Houston to Dubai.
The list price is $78m – $3m more than the Global 7500. The first Global 8000 delivery is due in 2025. After this Bombardier will stop producing the Global 7500 – which was first delivered in 2018.
Nearly everyone loves a new aircraft launch. Engineers get exciting projects to work on, salespeople get to sell new products, video directors get to make cool videos (the two at the launch were excellent) and audio-visual companies gets to rent out expensive lights. But the one group who rarely celebrates are existing owners.
Existing Global 7500 customers, however, will be able to upgrade their aircraft into a Global 8000. Bombardier is not giving out a price for the retrofit, but it is likely to be around $3m. (Although owners may pay more if they choose to combine the upgrade with a heavy maintenance check or upgrading their aircraft’s interior.)
Bombardier says that Global 8000 will have all the same landing capabilities as the Global 7500 – so can fly into difficult airports like London City. It can also carry up to 19 passengers.
In testing, the Global 8000 has already broken the sound barrier flying at Mach 1.015 with a F18 fighter recording this. It also used Sustainable Aviation Fuel for this flight.
When Bombardier first announced the Global 8000 and Global 7000 in 2010 it originally planned to build two separate aircraft. In 2018 it increased the range of the Global 7000 to 7700nm and renamed it the Global 7500. Now, Bombardier believes that passengers do not want more cabin space than the Global 7500 – but they will pay more for greater range and speed. Even if most ultra-long range aircraft rarely fly near their maximum range.
Upgrading the Global 7500 is also good news for Bombardier’s investors. The company has already learnt to build the aircraft – particularly fitting the interior – and it is a lot more risky than a new project. Bombardier is also describing it as the extension of its programme.
Competitors may argue that it is not really a new aircraft: that it is just the same aircraft with a few more capabilities. Gulfstream chose to call its extended range G650, the G650ER. But (as with the G650ER) existing Global 7500 owners and investors won’t mind. They – or the next owner – have the option to upgrade their aircraft to Global 8000s. And that is a lot better than owning an aircraft that has been replaced.