- The Bombardier Global Express has evolved into newer and more advanced variants, including the popular Global 5000, 6000 and 7500.
- The aircraft design features a semi-monocoque airframe based on light weight, aluminum alloy and composite materials, flexible wing design and one of the largest cabins in business aviation.
- The Global Express offers a comfortable cabin with minimum seating, allowing configurations with a club section, conference section and private sleeping section.
The Bombardier Global Express is a high-speed, long-range business jet that was developed by Bombardier Aerospace in Canada. The aircraft was introduced to the market in 1991 and it made its first flight in 1996. Less than three years later, in 1999, the aircraft had received type certification and entered service.
Since the success of the Global Express, Bombardier has developed the aircraft in various variants, including a purpose-built military variant. The company has delivered more than 800 units in all variants. This article focuses on some of the design and performance characteristics of the Global Express, and how the aircraft’s legacy continues with newer, more advanced variants.
Bombardier Global Express
Today’s popular Global 5000, 6000 and 7500 are upgraded variants of the Global Express of the early 1990s. In the late 1980s, Bombardier studied the idea of a long-range business jet that could fly a range of 6,500 NM (12,000 km), carrying 8-12 passengers. Operational reliability was the focus of the Global Express program, with the manufacturer aiming for a 100% reliability rate.
With the preliminary design completed, the aircraft was unveiled in 1991 during the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Convention. In the month that followed, the aircraft received tremendous feedback, securing nearly 50 aircraft orders. Then it was time to ramp up production and begin deliveries of the expected aircraft.
Salient design features
The Global Express features a semi-monocoque airframe based on aluminum alloy and composite materials. A monocoque design carries compression and tension loads within the airframe skin, allowing it to be lightweight. By lacking a fully loaded internal airframe, the manufacturer was able to minimize the aircraft’s weight and gain substantial fuel efficiency.
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The low and flexible wing design significantly improves the aerodynamic performance of the aircraft ensuring a comfortable ride for passengers. The flexible wing naturally dampens turbulence, preventing the light aircraft from absorbing its effects.
Photo: Jet ThaKlein Shutterstock
Global Express features one of the largest cabins in business aviation. At one point, it had the largest cabin before the Gulfstream G650 surpassed it. According to Global Jet,
“Global Express is the predecessor of the new Global 5000 and 6000. It remains one of the most sought-after private jets in business aviation. Global Express offers its passengers a very comfortable cabin, specially designed to combine relaxation and productivity, all in a very pleasant space. It connects, for example, non-stop New York with Tokyo.”
The large cabin section combined with the unobstructed cabin length of 48 ft (14.6 m) allows for three cabin sections. The cabin can be configured with a club section, a conference section and a private sleeping section with a bed and bathroom.
What else adds to the comfortable flight is the cabin height. The cabin is pressurized to 4,500 ft (1,370 m), meaning passengers experience minimal lag after their journey. By comparison, modern commercial aircraft, including the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787, have a cabin height of 6,000 ft (1,825 m).
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