Bombardier’s newest and biggest business jet took off on its first flight.
Bombardier’s Global 7000 Flight Test Vehicle 1 took off at 9:25 a.m. Central from its Toronto Downsview facility and flew for two hours and 27 minutes, Bombardier said Friday.
The company said in a news release that all flight controls were exercised, and the systems and aircraft performed as expected. The Global 7000 reached an altitude of 20,000 feet and a speed of 276 miles per hour.
“This is a great day for Bombardier and a very proud moment for the thousands of employees who made this significant milestone a reality,” Michel Ouellette, senior vice president of the Global 7000 and 8000 program, said in the release. “With today’s first flight successfully completed, all teams remain focused on meeting the program’s development and certification schedule and the aircraft’s entry-into-service in the second half of 2018.”
Last year, the company pushed back the jet’s entry into service date by two years because of development delays.
The $72.8 million jet will be Bombardier’s largest and longest range. It will have maximum seating capacity for 19 passengers and a crew of four, and a maximum range of 7,400 nautical miles with eight passengers.
The Global 7000 will soon be a familiar sight in the skies around Wichita, where it is expected to complete the bulk of its two-year-long flight testing program at the Bombardier Flight Test Center on the west side of Wichita Eisenhower National Airport.
The aircraft shares another connection to southcentral Kansas. Powering the airplane is General Electric’s new Passport engine, which is assembled at GE’s Strother Field site near Arkansas City.
It’s a first for the Strother facility, whose primary business has been the maintenance, repair and overhaul of military and commercial GE engines.