Gulfstream has upped the stakes in the ultra-long-range business jet market, unveiling in a glitzy ceremony at the static display last night its response to Bombardier’s Global 7500.
The G700 – developed in near-total secrecy in Savannah – will have a range of 7,500nm (13,900km) – just shy of its Canadian rival’s 7,700nm, but the cabin will be bigger. The aircraft will be powered by bespoke versions of the Rolls-Royce Pearl 700 turbofans, rated at 18,250lb thrust (81.2kN). This marks the second application for the Pearl powerplant, also chosen by Bombardier for its Global 5500/6500 series.
Deliveries of the new 19-passenger Gulfstream are due to start in 2022.
The unveiling of a full-size cabin mock-up of the G700 came after a 60s countdown, with Gulfstream president Mark Burns masterminding proceedings. The reveal was backed by the announcement of launch orders from two existing Gulfstream customers. These included Qatar Airways, which is taking 10 G700s for its Qatar Executive division. US fractional aircraft ownership company Flexjet has ordered "several" G700s, says Burns, who describes his new flagship as “truly a masterpiece of business aviation".
While the G700's specifications align with the Global 7500, Gulfstream is quick to point out the G700 will have the largest cabin in the business jet industry.
“Our customers, at this point, are not asking for more range… but they wanted more space,” Gulfstream senior vice-president of worldwide sales Scott Neal said just prior to this year's NBAA.
Responding today to the launch of a large-cabin rival at the show , Bombardier Business Aircraft president David Coleal said of the Global 7500's market position: "We couldn't be happier. Everything else is just a stretch."
The G700's cabin, excluding the baggage compartment, will be 17.4m long and 2.5m wide, while the 7500's cabin is 16.6m long and 2.4m wide. The G700 cabin will be 1.9m high, slightly more than the 7500's cabin, according to manufacturers' specifications.