The 25 years of the Global Express

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The 25 years of the Global Express

The Global Express made its maiden flight at Downsview Airport on October 13, 1996. To mark this anniversary, Wings Over Québec is publishing 4 texts about this industrial and commercial success.

It was in 1986 that Bombardier purchased Canadair from the Canadian government. Bombardier’s CEO, Mr. Laurent Beaudoin, was then committed to developing the Montreal aerospace industry. After launching the CRJ in March 1989, the company began to think about a long-haul business jet.


For an aircraft manufacturer, the marketing department is just as important as the engineering. Indeed, even with the best engineers, an aircraft will not sell if it does not meet the needs of the customers. Understanding the market and the needs are very important in aeronautics; given the exorbitant development costs, it is bankruptcy if you miss your shot. In fact, marketing teams usually have several engineers in their ranks.

After carrying out several preliminary studies, Bombardier began to present its concept to customers in 1991. It was in October at the annual NBAA exhibition that a first model was shown. At that point, we are talking about an aircraft with a range of 5,650 nm. The maximum expected speed is Mach 0.90 and the cabin length is 14.6 m or 47.9 feet.

In December 1993, the company went ahead with the Global Express project and said it had around 40 customers. Its range was revised to 6500 nm and its selling price is then $ 28 million. Bombardier estimates that the development cost will be between $ 800 million and $ 1 billion. The company estimates that it can sell between 550 and 800 Global over 15 to 20 years. But the business case relies on selling 200 units. Back then, many were sceptical about that new aircraft. The belief was that there will never be enough buyers to reach the 200 mark. 

At the time of entry into service in 1999, Bombardier had 105 orders on hand. From a marketing standpoint, this was already a success.

Tomorrow we are talking about the Bombardier Gulfstream battle.

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