Bombardier Global Express XRS Makes Maiden Flight

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Earlier in January, on the 16th and half a world away in Toronto, Bombardier took its new-generation Global Express XRS business jet for its initial spin -- what the company called a "rigorous" four-hour, four-minute flight. The jet departed Bombardier’s Downsview, Ontario, facility and, before landing, reached a maximum altitude of 47,000 feet and a maximum true airspeed of 518 knots. Launched in October 2003, Bombardier expects to receive the XRS's first Certificate of Airworthiness soon, to be followed by customer deliveries of completed aircraft in the first quarter of 2006. According to company officials, the first flight was used to test basic system functionality and assess aircraft handling and flying qualities. "Even with its increased fuel load, it’s clear the Global Express XRS displays all the same extraordinary handling capabilities and aerodynamic performance of a Global Express – the best business jet in the world to fly,” noted Capt. Manny Garyfalakis, manager of Bombardier flight operations, a 29-year career pilot who guided the aircraft on its first flight. Loaded with 25,000 pounds of fuel, takeoff weight for the first flight was 74,000 pounds. The XRS was step-climbed to 47,000 feet. Early in the flight, testing took place in an altitude block of 12,000 to 16,000 feet and included stall system checks and lateral stability assessments. Bombardier says the Global Express XRS will deliver the best speed/range combination in the ultra-long-range bizjet category. The airplane will have a maximum fuel weight of 44,975 pounds, letting it fly 6150 nautical miles at Mach 0.85 under certain conditions. Additionally, operators may benefit from a new zero-flap takeoff capability, allowing departure from high-density-altitude airports and runways. Bombardier says the XRS will feature the company's Enhanced Vision System, a second-generation, forward-looking infrared sensor providing synthetic vision in low-visibility conditions, as standard equipment.