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Global Express is certificated

Graham Warwick/WASHINGTON DC

Bombardier received Canadian certification for the Global Express long-range business jet on 31 July. European and US approvals are expected "within a couple of months" as a result of an integrated certification programme involving four flying prototypes and 2,200h of flight testing.

The Canadian company says certification was achieved on the schedule established when the programme was launched five years ago. Work remaining to be completed covers flight into known icing, clearance of some autopilot modes, and 150h of function and reliability (F&R) testing on representative missions. The work is scheduled to be completed before the service entry of the first Global Express, expected in January 1999.

The company is developing ice shapes and plans to conduct natural icing tests in South America, says John Holding, executive vice-president, engineering and product support. F&R testing began in early August using the fourth prototype, the first with a cabin interior installed.

Holding expects the completion of the first customer Global Express to begin in September or October, after it rolls off the post-certification modification line in Montreal. To save time, interior installation has begun while the aircraft is undergoing modification. The first five customer aircraft are being brought up to certification standard in Montreal, but subsequent aircraft are being modified in Toronto and will then be flown to Montreal for completion.

The Global Express has been certificated at a maximum take-off weight of 42,400kg (93,500lb). Holding says the completion of static testing has shown the aircraft has margin for growth before structural changes are required. The range of 12,000km (6,500nm) with eight passengers and four crew meets the performance guarantees. Holding says achieving the promised 12,400km range will depend on weight reductions planned by Bombardier and engine supplier BMW Rolls-Royce.

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