Bombardier unveils the secretly developed Global 6500 and 5500

Jets — 19.06.18 BY Jill Stockbridge

Then the charismatic David Coleal, President Bombardier Business Aircraft, took to the microphone, and a pleasant evening took a very surprising turn. As Coleal began to speak of new projects, the curtain dividing the hangar into a cosy space dropped dramatically to reveal an entirely new aircraft – boldly labelled in gold across the tail as the Global 6500. Jaws hit the floor around the room and photographers rushed forward. How had the company managed to keep this development so quiet?

While all eyes were on the development of the Global 7000, currently in certification testing, Bombardier had been secretly working on two new aircraft, and had even flown one into the Swiss airport, under experimental authorisation, without anyone noticing. Named the Global 5500 and Global 6500, the two new aircraft are expected to enter service at the end of 2019.


“Bombardier’s two newest Global aircraft are the result of our unrelenting commitment to innovation, excellence and most of all, our desire to deliver unmatched capabilities to our customers,” said Coleal. “This next generation of performance stems from the winning DNA of our Global family of aircraft, now further enhanced through a newly optimised wing, a fully reimagined cabin and new, purpose-built engines.”

These new aircraft build on the success of the Global 5000 and Global 6000 aircraft by offering 500 and 600 nautical miles of additional range, respectively, coupled with an up to 13 per cent fuel burn advantage, contributing to highly favourable operating costs compared to smaller competing aircraft with less range.

In a boost to Middle East interest, the new aircraft also deliver a range increase of up to 1,300 nautical miles when operating out of hot-weather and high-altitude conditions, thanks to increased thrust and improved fuel efficiency. Despite the increased range, the new aircraft are still agile and offer the ability to access airports such as London City.


Sitting on a cloud

With a range of up to 16 hours non-stop, it is important that the new cabins in all three aircraft offer the ultimate in comfort. As well as the widest in-class cabin for both the 6500 and the 5500, Bombardier will offer the patented Nuage seat, which is also fitted in the Global 7500. The seat has been engineered for maximum comfort and ease of movement, with a tilt link system for deep recline, a floating base for fluid movement and a tilting headrest to provide optimal neck support in any position.

An additional seating innovation available on the Global 5500 and Global 6500 aircraft is the Nuage chaise, which converts from a reclining lounge chair into a flat surface for sleeping or banquet-style dining around the table.

The folks at the front are also catered for, and the company is introducing the class-leading Bombardier Vision flight deck on these new aircraft. This is the first true combined vision system (CVS) in business aviation and the only system to seamlessly merge enhanced and synthetic images in a single view, reducing crew workload and increasing situational awareness with the clearest view through the toughest weather.


Pearl power

The new aircraft are powered by brand new Rolls-Royce Pearl engine family. Purpose-built for the new Globals, the company managed to keep the certification campaign for the Pearl 15, which is based on the Advance2 propulsion concept, away from the media magnifying glass for the six years of its development.

Rolls-Royce is the world’s leading engine supplier for business aviation, powering over 3,000 aircraft in service today, with a 42% market share. The Pearl 15 is the first of the planned state- of-the-art Pearl engine family for business aviation and marks the sixth new civil aerospace engine introduced by Rolls-Royce in the past 10 years.

Chris Cholerton, President – Civil Aerospace, Rolls-Royce, said: “Our teams have worked hard behind the scenes to develop this new engine and we are proud, once again, to lead the way in business aviation. The Pearl engine is a pioneering product, bringing together the most eco- friendly and efficient technologies available today.”

The new engine, which has been developed at Rolls-Royce’s Centre of Excellence for Business Aviation engines in Dahlewitz, Germany, has undergone a comprehensive test programme and received EASA certification in February. The engine is currently undergoing flight tests at Bombardier’s Flight Test Centre in Wichita, Kansas, supporting the planned entry into service at the end of 2019.

Cholerton added: “The combination of outstanding performance, economy, and reliability levels make it the perfect fit for Bombardier’s newest Global aircraft and, with the Pearl engine, we are extending our successful relationship with Bombardier, which started more than 20 years ago. Together we made history by creating a whole new class of aircraft and that success story enters a new chapter today.”

In conclusion, Coleal said: “The Global 5500 and Global 6500 aircraft have the longest range, the largest cabins and the smoothest ride in their class, and we are very proud that they will be powered by the advanced and efficient Pearl engine, purpose- built for these aircraft by our longstanding partners at Rolls-Royce.”