Boeing Business Jets has delivered a BBJ to the South African air force for use as an intercontinental VIP transport. The green aircraft has been handed over to Armscor, South Africa's armaments procurement agency.


The South African aircraft is the 59th green delivery since the Boeing/ General Electric joint venture was formed in July 1996 to market a business jet derivative of the 737-700. So far, 33 BBJs have entered service. Other government VIP applications include two aircraft, designated C-40Bs, delivered to the USAir Force for commander-in-chief transport.

A new application has emerged, meanwhile, with air medical transport company MedJet International revealing plans to operate a BBJ configured as both an executive charter aircraft and air ambulance. The aircraft is in completion at Ozark Aircraft Systems in Arkansas, and Birmingham, Alabama-based MedJet plans to begin charter operations by January. The company currently operates two Bombardier Learjet 35A/36A-RX air ambulances.

With all but one aircraft now equipped with range-enhancing winglets, Boeing is developing several improvements for the BBJ and 737-800-based BBJ2. Top of the list is reduced cabin altitude, which is expected to become available in the second quarter of next year. Increased speed is also on the list, and the aircraft has been flown to Mach 0.9 with winglets installed.

Source: Flight International