Speed and Distance Records Broken in Quick Succession
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 have been broken by the Gulfstream G650ER and the Bombardier Global 7500. And then broken again.
That’s right. 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 it did it in just 13 hours and 37 minutes.
It’s easy to see how it happened, given the two impressive Rolls-Royce BR725 A1-12 engines that power it. They pack quite a punch and, in actual fact, the aircraft has a maximum speed of Mach 0.925. When you consider that it can carry up to 19 passengers, it’s all the more impressive.
Another record broken
That in itself is cause for celebration. But, remarkably, it wasn’t the only significant record broken in just a few short weeks.
On March 4, 2019, it was another airline taking the headlines. Bombardier announced that its Global 7500 business jet had managed the feat of traveling 8,152 nautical miles. It’s the longest ever flight (around 16 hours) for a purpose-built business jet, with the aircraft taking off in Singapore and landing in Tucson, Arizona.
Flying at Mach 0.85, the very same flight chalked up another record in the process. It managed 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’
‘The LRC setting on the Global 7500 is a variable speed but works out to about Mach 0.85. This allowed us to land with reserves well over NBAA IFR requirements and represented over 90 minutes more of additional flight time.
‘The mission was flown at optimal altitudes for fuel burn well above commercial traffic.’
But the record-breaking didn’t end there. Several weeks after breaking the newly-set record, the same aircraft was responsible for a 3 hour and 54 minute flight between Los Angeles and New York. It was a real demonstration of the aircraft’s maximum power, blasting along at a top speed of Mach 0.925.
Fast-forward a few days to March 27, 2019. Once again, the Global 7500 prepares for take-off. This time, it’s from Westchester County Airport in New York. It touched down in London’s Luton Airport just 5 hours and 26 minutes later. Once again, a record had been broken. On this occasion, it was the fastest flight for a business jet between two major financial cities. Not only did it hit Mach 0.925 but it averaged Mach 0.92, meaning it was barrelling along close to maximum speed throughout nearly the entire flight.
Clearly, these are some special aircraft we’re dealing with here.
The Bombardier Global 7500 – as you may have guessed by the fact that it is smashing records left and right – only took to the air recently. First entering service in December 2018, the spacious business jet has taken little time to stamp its name on the map.
Luxurious interiors on the G650ER and Global 7500
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.
To be precise you’ll find a Master Suite, Club Suite, Conference Suite, and Media Suite. All this record-breaking is hard work, so the Master Suite is the ideal place to recharge. An indulgent, full-size double bed is the perfect place to catch up on those missed hours. Plus, a stand-up shower allows you to rejuvenate afterward.
The aircraft is littered with subtle touches that exemplify the extravagance on offer here. Brand new Nuage seating, a fully equipped kitchen, and a new level of customization all add to this. Passengers will share control over all manner of aspects within the cabin, from the heating and noise to lighting and what kind of entertainment is on. It puts you squarely in control.
The G650’s strengths are well documented, and the G650ER provides further upgrades. It edges the G650’s range by 500 nautical miles, for a total of 7,500. That change is enough to allow trips such as New York to Mumbai without the need to stop and refuel.
An extra 4,000 lbs of fuel on the G650ER
There’s a bigger fuel reserve, with an extra 4,000 lbs of fuel being carried in the wings of the aircraft. It can still carry 18 passengers, just like the G650 before it. And you can even have your G650 upgraded to match the specifications of the G650ER model, if you fancy owning a real top-of-the-range model.
‘The G650ER has no equal when it comes to its incredible combination of speed and range,’ said Mark Burns, President at Gulfstream Aerospace. ‘Worldwide, you just can’t go farther faster, and this record proves it.
‘With 350 aircraft in service, the G650 and G650ER show day in and day out that they are class-creating and class-leading aircraft that set the standard when they were announced – and continue to do so today.’
We live in exciting times. Records are being broken. And then broken again. And again. We’ve witnessed different companies pushing each other to their limits. The result? Faster planes, longer distances, and mind-blowing statistics being racked up.
One can only imagine what aircraft speeds will be possible in the future. Judging by how quickly records keep getting broken, we won’t have to wait too long to find out.