The top end of the business jet market went largely unscathed by the recent financial downturn. Market figures from Flightglobal’s Ascend consultancy show this sector, starting at about $30 million, represented 69% of the $18.5 billion business jet delivery value in 2013.
Ascend expects the popularity of these top-end aircraft to continue for the next 10 years, as a wave of new designs enters the market. In its latest forecast, it predicts nearly 10,000 business jets from across the spectrum will be delivered between 2013 and 2023, with a total delivery value of $258 billion. Of this, the large-cabin/long range/VIP airliner segment is predicted to account for around 60% of the value share.
This week FlightGlobal looks at the top eleven (there was a tie for 10th place) contenders for the long-range business jet title. All range figures are for cruise at Mach 0.85 except where indicated, and programs that are marked (d) are still in development.
- Bombardier Global 8000 (d): 7,900nm, $68.7 million
Canadian standard-bearer Bombardier forecasts demand for 5,250 aircraft in the $50-75 million category between 2014 and 2033. Understandably then it has looked beyond its current flagship, the Global 6000, with the launch in 2010 of the bigger, longer-range 7000 (number 3, below) and 8000. Both aircraft will be powered by General Electric’s 16,500lb-thrust (73kN) Passport 20 engine and feature an all-new, high-speed transonic wing. The 8000 is targeted for entry into service in 2017.
- Gulfstream G650ER: 7,500nm, $66.5 million
Gulfstream delivered its first all-new ultra-long-range G650ER business jet to a private owner in December 2014, making it currently the longest-legged in-production business jet. Its 500nm advantage over the standard G650 comes from an extra 1,810kg (4,000lb) of fuel carried in the wings and a software update to manage the added performance.
- Bombardier Global 7000 (d): 7,300nm, $72.5 million
The Global 7000’s 74.9m3 (2,650ft3) cabin will be 20% bigger than the existing Global 6000 and have about the same interior volume premium over its longer-range sister, the 8000. Bombardier has given no indication of when the Global 7000’s flight test campaign will begin, but says it remains on track for certification in 2016.
- Gulfstream G650: 7,000nm, $64.5 million
Until the ER version (number 2, pictured) took to the air, the G650 was the business jet world’s long-range champion. Envious owners can hire Gulfstream to do an ER retrofit for $2 million.
- Gulfstream G550: 6,750nm, $60 million
Long-running speculation that Gulfstream was to replace this decade-old model, and the smaller G450, with an all-new aircraft codenamed “P42” proved wide of the mark. Last October, Gulfstream pulled a stunner and unveiled its G500 and G600 (number 7, below) models, which sit, range-wise, in between the two. Gulfstream says it plans to keep G550 and G450 in production for now.
- Dassault Falcon 8X (d): 6,450nm (M0.8), $57 million
7. Gulfstream G600 (d): 6,200nm, $54.5 million
8. Bombardier Global 6000: 6,000nm, $62 million
9. Dassault Falcon 7X: 5,950nm (M0.8), $52.8 million
10. Dassault Falcon 5X (d): 5,200nm, $45 million
10. Bombardier Global 5000: 5,200nm, $50.2 million