Bombardier Global 7000 jet arrives in Wichita for flight test

Bombardier’s biggest and longest-range business jet, the Global 7000, landed Monday in Wichita to begin the bulk of its flight testing program.

The aircraft, serial no. 70001, landed at Wichita Eisenhower National Airport shortly after 3 p.m. on Monday following a three-hour flight from Toronto Downsview Airport.

It arrived in Wichita a little more than two weeks after its first flight on Nov. 4.

The jet is one of five Global 7000s – called flight test vehicles – that will be part of the flight test program, a Bombardier Business Aircraft spokeswoman said Monday.

“Subsequent FTVs will come down there as well,” spokeswoman Anna Cristofaro said.

In addition to the Learjet plant, Montreal-based Bombardier also has a large flight test center on the west side of Eisenhower Airport.

Cristofaro said the company wouldn’t disclose the duration of the Global 7000’s flight test program or other details. Bombardier hopes to begin first deliveries of the airplane in the second half of 2018.

The Global 7000 was one of three aircraft development programs underway simultaneously at Bombardier until the company paused work on the Learjet 85 in late January 2015, resulting in the layoff of 1,000 workers, including 620 in Wichita. Later that year, Bombardier decided to end the Learjet 85 program altogether.

Since then, Bombardier has certified and delivered its first narrow-body jetliner, the C Series CS100, and is preparing to deliver its first CS300 – a larger C Series variant – to airBaltic in December.

Last year, Bombardier pushed back the Montreal-assembled Global 7000’s entry into service date by two years because of development delays.

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.

Jerry Siebenmark: 316-268-6576, @jsiebenmark