The 25 Years of the Global Express Part 4
The Global Express maiden flight happened on October 6, 1996. It was 1:29 p.m. at Downsview Airport when the crew of the first Global Express pulled on the flight controls. The weather is ideal in the Toronto area and the inaugural flight is 2 hours 46 minutes. Later in the fall, the aircraft was transferred to the Wichita test centre where three other aircraft would join it. It was during the summer of 1998 that he received his certification.
Entry Into Service
In 1999, the Global Express entered service with six deliveries to customers. Since it was then a next-generation aircraft, it contained a lot of electronics managed by computers. Software problems are the new Achilles tendon of modern aircraft, and the Global Express is no exception. There are more and more error messages on active planes and the support team is rowing hard. The basic problem is not the airplane itself or its complexity. The difficulty is that IT takes aircraft performance and reliability to another level. It takes a certain period of adaptation in order to fully grasp the aircraft and be able to fix bugs.
Bombardier had promised buyers that the travelable distance of the Global Express would be 6500 nm under any circumstances. However, in certain weather conditions with unfavourable winds, it does not succeed. Customers are then offered the option of adding an additional fuel tank in the fuselage or a discount.
In 2001, Bombardier announced the Global 5000 which was a shorter version. Its range is then 4,800 nm. From 2002, the problems related to the entry into service were resolved and the Global Express will fulfill its promises.
In 2003, the XRS version of the Global Express was launched. The term XRS stands for extra range and speed. In 2010, Bombardier announced the Global 6000 and the Global 7000. The Global 6000 will go into production in 2012, and it has a range of 6000 nm. It 6000 incorporates several enhancements including Rockwell Collins’s Pro-Line Fusion avionics suite.
The Global 7000 will have a new wing and its expected range is then 7,400 nm. Bombardier then opted for the Passport engine from GE. The entry into service was scheduled for 2016. But the design and manufacture of this new wing will cause a lot of problems and a two years’ delay for the program. Triumph which had obtained the manufacturing mandate for the wings is not really up to the task.
Then in May 2018, Bombardier announced that the Global 7000 would become the Global 7500. Its range went from 7,400 nm to 7,700 nm.
In January 2019, Bombardier put an end to its commercial dispute with Triumph. It acquires the division of its subcontractor which manufactures the wing of the Global 7500. Thereafter the program will continue to progress without too many problems.
Bombardier will deliver the thousandth aircraft in the Global family in November 2021. That translates to an average of more than 44 annual deliveries since entering service in 1999. By comparison, the Challenger 600 took 35 years to reach this mark.
Its reliability rate is now 99.7%, which places it at the top of its class. The manufacturer is expected to deliver more than 70 aircraft of this family in 2021. At the moment, the future of Bombardier rests mainly on the Global.
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