With four days to go before the world gets its first look at Bombardier's M170 at NBAA, there are indications the Canadian airframer's new design is a stretch of its Global 5000 and Global Express XRS family. Bombardier appears to have opted for the same 106in (8ft 10in) cross section for the M170 family, keeping the aircraft within 2in of the Gulfstream G650.
Though let's step beyond Bombardier's new long-range large-cabin business jet for a moment into the world of TSA security checkpoints, baggage loaders, airport gates and flight delays.
Could a stretch of the M170 find its way to the commercial market?
Adapting a business aircraft for commercial use is far from unprecedented. We've seen this play from Bombardier before. The company's Canadair business jet was the original platform for the CRJ200, a fuselage design that has been employed from 50 seats all the way to 100 seats.
All indications point to a General Electric engine, potentially the NG34, with 18,000lbs of thrust powering the M170. That engine has also been considered as a candidate for re-engining Embraer's E-Jets, the direct competitor to the 70, 90 and 100-seat NextGen CRJ family. That powerplant also replaces the CF34 engine that powers all the CRJs (and E-Jets) at around 13,000lbs of thrust.
The wing of the Global family is already capable of 6,325nm, well in excess of the missions flown by the CRJ aircraft today, topping out at around 2,000nm. A significantly de-rated NG34 engine, replacing today's CF34s, plus a further stretched fuselage, may provide a direct replacement with significant fuel burn advantage over today's CRJ family.
With engineering resources at Bombardier's occupied with the Learjet 85, CSeries, M170 and CRJ1000, a low cost "two-birds with one stone" approach to revamping its CRJ family may be just what Bombardier needs to reinvigorate its 70 to 100-seat sales.
By the looks of the single rendering release by Bombardier, the new Global will feature significantly taller windows compared to the 5000 and XRS. Maybe in the not so distant future those larger windows reserved for the meticulously designed cabins of business aircraft will be shared with regional jets.
Photo Credit Bombardier