It’s been a good couple of months for aviation fans. We’re constantly striving to travel further, faster – and now records for speed and distance were broken twice by the Gulfstream G650ER and the Bombardier Global 7500.
The city-pair record was eclipsed on February 19, 2019 when the ultra-long Gulfstream G650ER set new standards. Covering 7,475 nautical miles at an average speed of Mach 0.87, the aircraft successfully flew from Singapore to San Francisco and the journey took just 13 hours and 37 minutes.
It’s not difficult to understand how such world records were broken given the two impressive Rolls-Royce BR725 A1-12 engines that power the aircraft. They pack quite a punch enabling a maximum speed of Mach 0.925. It seems even more impressive when you consider that it can carry up to 19 passengers.
Another World Record Broken
That's a good reason to celebrate. But, remarkably, it’s not the only significant record that was broken in just a few weeks.
On March 4, 2019 another manufacturer took the headlines. Bombardier announced that its Global 7500 business jet set a new distance record having traveled 8,152 nautical miles. The aircraft took off in Singapore and landed in Tucson, Arizona marking the longest ever flight (around 16 hours) for a purpose-built business jet.
Flying at Mach 0.85, the very same flight chalked up another record in the process. It reached the highest speed over the longest distance in business aviation. ‘The priority on this trip was to show that customers could realistically fly such missions with ample fuel reserves,’ said Dominique Cristall, Bombardier’s senior public relations and sustainability advisor. ‘Thus, we decided to use our long-range cruise setting to maximize fuel at landing.’
‘Fuel Burn Well above Commercial Traffic’
Several weeks after breaking the newly-set record, the same aircraft flew between Los Angeles and New York in 3 hours and 54 minutes. Blasting along at a top speed of Mach 0.925, it demonstrated its maximum power.
A few days later, on March 27, 2019, the Global 7500 took off from Westchester County Airport in New York and touched down at London’s Luton Airport just 5 hours and 26 minutes later. Once again, it broke a record - this time it was the fastest flight for a business jet between two major financial cities. Not only did it hit Mach 0.925 but it also averaged Mach 0.92 which means it barreled along close to maximum speed throughout nearly the entire flight.
As the fact that it's smashing world records left and right suggests, the Bombardier Global 7500 is a special aircraft. Since it first entered service in December 2018, this spacious business jet didn't need a lot of time to stamp its name on the map.
G650ER and Global 7500 features
Given how effortlessly the 7500 has broken speed and distance records, you would be forgiven for assuming it’s very much a minimalist jet, with the interiors crafted in such a way that they’re stripped of all but the essentials. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
There are in fact no fewer than four separate cabin zones on the 7500 model. And they’re pretty luxurious.
The G650ER edges the G650’s range by 500 nautical miles reaching a total of 7,500 which is enough to allow flying from New York to Mumbai without the need to stop and refuel. Both the G650 and G650ER have the capacity to fly 18 passengers, and the latter has extra fuel reserves in the wings amounting to 4,000 lbs.
We live in exciting times. Companies are pushing each other to their limits. As a consequence, along with breaking speed and distance records, we're seeing faster planes, longer distances, and mind-blowing statistics being racked up.
It's thrilling to imagine what aircraft speeds will be possible in the future. Judging by how quickly distance and speed records get broken, we won’t have to wait too long to find out.