Gulfstream G450 makes surprise entrance by flying to the convention, while Bombardier reveals Global Express XRS

Gulfstream sprang the biggest surprise at NBAA, unveiling the G450 long-range business jet by flying the aircraft to the show. The G450 first flew in April and four aircraft are now in flight test, with US certification scheduled for the third quarter of next year, leading to service entry in the second quarter of 2005.

Bombardier unveiled the Global Express XRS upgrade of its ultra-long-range business jet, while Cessna introduced the Citation XLS update of the super-light Excel and improvements to the high-speed Citation X for 2004.

Gulfstream's G450 is a derivative of the GIV with uprated Rolls-Royce Tay engines, increased range, improved cabin, more reliable systems and PlaneView integrated flightdeck developed for the ultra-long-range G550. Gulfstream has grafted the G550 nose onto the GIV airframe, extending the fuselage by 300mm (12in) to provide a larger cockpit and moving the main entry door aft for better cabin access.

Developed in parallel with the GV-SP-based G500/G550, the aircraft will be available alongside the GIV-SP-based G300 and G400. But the manufacturer expects the G400 to be replaced eventually by the G450, which costs just $2 million more at $33 million outfitted.

The Tay 611-8C provides 6% more thrust, 2% lower specific fuel consumption and an increased, 12,000h, time between overhauls. The engine has a new fan and turbine, full-authority digital control, and a composite thrust-reverser supplied by Nordam that saves 320kg (700lb). Hot-and-high take-off distance is reduced by 430ft (130m) and range increased by 460km (250nm) at Mach 0.8, to 8,050km.

Systems with high removal rates in the GIV family have been replaced by more reliable equivalents developed for the G550, including Hamilton Sundstrand integrated drive generators and the Honeywell 36-150 auxiliary power unit. Pressurisation has been increased to reduce cabin altitude to 5,000ft up to 41,000ft.

Based on Honeywell's Primus Epic integrated avionics, the PlaneView cockpit features four large-format liquid-crystal displays (LCD), and standard enhanced vision system (EVS) and head-up display (HUD). The G450 will have the same pilot type rating as the PlaneView-equipped G500/G550.

Bombardier's $45.5 million Global XRS is scheduled to enter service in early 2006, superseding the Global Express in production. The aircraft features an additional 674kg (1,486lb)-capacity forward fuel tank in the wing/body fairing that boosts range to 11,400km at M0.85.

Pressurisation is increased to reduce cabin altitude to 4,500ft up to 45,000ft. Other cabin improvements include a relocated crew rest area, two additional windows, LED lighting and larger baggage area. The Global XRS will have Bombardier's EVS as standard, comprising the CMC Electronics infrared sensor and Thales Avionics HUD.

Cessna is flight-testing the Citation XLS, which provides a 90kg gross-weight increase, 415km range increase to 3,600km, and a faster, 25min, direct climb to 45,000ft. Pratt & Whitney Canada PW545B engines provide 4.9% more thrust. The XLS's Honeywell Primus 1000 avionics suite includes three 205 x 255mm LCDs.

The $9.9 million XLS will replace the Excel with deliveries starting mid-2004, says Jack Pelton, senior vice-president product engineering. The 2004 Citation X includes new seats and LED lighting. The Max-Viz EVS-2000 will be available as an option on the $19 million Citation X, the head-down display of the infrared image providing improved airport situational awareness.

Source: Flight International