Bombardier Business Aircraft’s first Global 7000 flight test vehicle has reached a top speed of Mach 0.995, the company said Wednesday.
That milestone maximum speed – just about the closest an airplane can come to breaking the sound barrier without actually doing it — is 663.4 knots, or 763.4 miles per hour. It was achieved by FTV1 during its flight test trials at Bombardier’s Wichita Flight Test Center.
The speed achievement makes the Global 7000 slightly faster than the top speed of its two nearest competitors, Gulfstream’s G650 and Dassault’s Falcon 8X. Gulfstream said the G650 and G650ER have a top speed of Mach 0.925. Dassault said the Falcon 8X has reached Mach 0.96 in flight testing.
FTV1’s top speed was achieved during a test flight within the past week, a Bombardier Business Aircraft spokeswoman said Wednesday.
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That airplane arrived in Wichita in November and has accumulated about 200 flight hours. It was joined by FTV2 on March 8, three days after completing its first flight.
In a news release Wednesday, Bombardier said the two airplanes are “demonstrating excellent reliability and accumulating flight hours at a steady pace.”
“Our flight test vehicles continue to show a high degree of maturity in testing, dispatching twice daily in many cases,” Michel Ouellette, senior vice president of Bombardier’s Global 7000 and Global 8000 program, said in the release.
Bombardier plans to have a total of five Global 7000s in its flight test program.
Global 7000 deliveries are expected to begin in the second half of 2018. The $72.8 million jet will be Bombardier’s largest and have the longest range.
It will have maximum seating for 19 passengers and a crew of four and a maximum range of 7,400 nautical miles with eight passengers.
The Global 7000’s Passport jet engines are assembled at GE Aviation’s Arkansas City plant.