Bombardier has begun flight testing the Global 5000 super-large business jet. The Global Express derivative made its 3h 44min first flight from the Canadian company's Toronto plant on 7 March. After 20-25h of preliminary testing in Toronto, the aircraft will relocate to Bombardier's Wichita, Kansas, flight-test centre.

The second of two aircraft in the flight-test programme is scheduled to fly in the second quarter, and after initial testing will be moved to Bombardier's completion centre in Montreal for installation of a production-standard interior. This aircraft is expected to re-enter flight testing at the end of this year, or early next year.

Certification is scheduled for the first quarter of 2004, but first customer deliveries are not planned until the end of that year. The second aircraft will be used as a company demonstrator for six months before first customer delivery to prove the cabin systems' reliability.

Meanwhile, Bombardier has delivered the 600th Challenger business jet. The first Challenger 600 was handed over in December 1980. Deliveries of the current Challenger 604 model began in January 1996.

The fifth Challenger 300 had its first flight on 8 March, equipped with a fully functional interior, and will be used for reliability testing. The super-mid-size business jet is being certificated for service entry later this year.


Source: Flight International