Bombardier gets go-ahead for Global expansion

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Bombardier has been given the thumbs up its board of directors to launch its new Global business aircraft family. Details of the aircraft - which is widely expected to include a challenger to Gulfstream's ultra-long-range, high-speed G650 - will be revealed next month at the National Business Aviation Association convention and exhibition in Atlanta, Georgia.

Chief operating officer Guy Hachey says: "The time is right to move forward with our extended Global aircraft family," which consists of the super large Global 5000 and the long range Global Express XRS business jets. The aircraft were launched in 2002 as variants of the Global Express.

Meanwhile Gulfstream has its sights on 2011 for certification of its 13,000km (7,000nm) range, fly-by-wire, G650 for which its has chalked up 200 orders. Four of the five Rolls-Royce BR725-powered flight-test aircraft have clocked up around 700h of the 1,800h flight-testing hours needed to complete the certification programme. The fifth and final aircraft is expected to join the programme in November.