The Bombardier BD-700 Global Express is a long range, high speed aircraft which can fly between any two points in the world with only one fuel stop. Designed by Bombardier in 1991, it is a direct competitor to long ranged aircraft like the Airbus Corporate Jet, the Boeing Business Jet and the Gulfstream G550. The Global Express was officially launched in 1993, and first flew on October 13, 1996.
The Global Express in most cases is a corporate or VIP jet, although it has been modified for military purposes. Its long range is ideal for either worldwide civil operations or military missions. Powered by two Rolls-Royce Deutschland BR710A2-20 turbofans, this aircraft has a cruising speed of 0.85 Mach, a maximum cruising speed of 0.89 Mach and a ceiling of 51,000 ft. ceiling, which is a factor of high importance on the design of its subsequent models. There are three main versions of the original Global Express: the Global Express XRS, the Global 5000 and the Sentinel R1.
The Global Express is crewed by two pilots. It’s able to carry 8 to 19 passengers, depending on the configuration of the aircraft. The fuselage has a length of 99 ft 5 in, a height of 24 ft 10 in and a wingspan of 94 ft. The empty weight is directly related to the version (civil or military) and the maximum takeoff weight is 98,000 lb.
The Global Express XRS is an improved version of the original aircraft, offering higher cruising speeds, increased range, and improved cabin layout and lighting. Such features, in addition to the multiple luxurious configurations that can be custom ordered, make it a perfect choice for business people worldwide. The range increase is achieved by the addition of a 1,486 lb fuel tank at the wing root. Bombardier reports that improved computer systems and mechanical refinements make this version quicker to refuel, saving up to 15 minutes on refueling stops. The addition of the XRS to the name is said to be a mere brand strategy. The Global 5000, on the other hand, is a shortened version of the Global Express XRS built on the same production line.
The military version of the Global Express is the Sentinel R1 of the Royal Air Force. It carries the Raytheon Airborne Stand-Off Radar (ASTOR) and provides battlefield surveillance, similar to the United States Air Force’s Boeing 707 JOINTSTARS aircraft. The high operating ceiling was the main factor in selecting this aircraft. Even with several modifications, the aircraft is still able to fly higher than the JOINTSTARS, which allows for a larger area for the radar to search.