Ultra Long-range Jets - Thumbnail Guide

 

I focused on the Large Cabin business aircraft market last month, and through this piece you saw that this market segment is the most active in used transactions in this post global financial crisis era, more so than all of the other used aircraft markets. Regarding a large cabin aircraft usually It is fair to say that this class of aircraft also comes with a long-range capability more-so than smaller aircraft cabin sizes.

 

The newest developments in business aircraft design strategy appear to be following a competitive mandate that allows for ultra long-range capability that stretches intercontinental travel capability up-to and beyond a quarter of the distance around the globe, following either a meridian or a great circle path along the widest circumference of the earth.

 

No-one clearly defines what the classification of an Ultra Long-Range Jet really is. Some say that Short Range is defined in time, as anything that takes 0.1 to 1.5 hours to fly; Medium Range is 1.51 to 4 hours; Long Range is 4.1 to 8 hours in duration, while Ultra Long-Range is anything that takes more than 8 hours to fly. I don’t believe that this definition fits the Business Jet model. Alternatively, Boeing defines three market segments for its 777 aircraft series aircraft in miles, as follows:

 

A market (Short)                               3,900 to 5,200 nautical miles (7,200 to 9,700 km)
B market  (Medium)                        5,800 to 7,700 nautical miles (10,800 to 14,250 km)
C market  (Long)                                8,000 nautical miles (14,800 km) and greater

 

I personally like the following definition as it, I believe, most closely applies to the Business Jet Aircraft arena, that which most, if not all of the readers of Globalair.com deal within:

 

Cox Definition of the Ultra long-Range Jet

Short Range Aircraft are:              up to 750 miles (up to 2 hours flying time);
Medium Range Aircraft are:        750 to 2,500 miles (2 to 5 hours flying time);
Long Range Aircraft are:                                2,500 to 6,000 miles (more than 5 hours flying time); and,
Ultra Long-Range Aircraft are:    in excess of 6,000 miles (more than 12 hours flying time).

 

Typical flights of more than 6,000 nautical miles (NM) might include:

 

                Sydney to Cape Town                    Sydney to Buenos Aries                                Los Angeles to Shanghai

                Los Angeles to Wellington            New York to Dubai                          New York to Beijing

                Moscow to Rio de Janeiro            Moscow to Bali                                 Bombay to Juneau

                Bombay to Vanuatu                        Lima to Athens                                  Lima to Johannesburg                                   

Only four aircraft, that are currently manufactured by four separate aircraft companies actually fit into this Ultra Long-Range category. These are the Airbus ACJ, the Boeing BBJ Series, the Bombardier Global Express/XRS series, and the Gulfstream GV/G500/G550 series. On the distant horizon there are new aircraft on the way that will up the ante within this category. These are the nearly certified Gulfstream G650 (deliveries expected in 2012), and the ‘many years out from now’ Bombardier Global 7000 and 8000 aircraft, which are both slated to start delivering to buyers in 2016/17.

 

Aircraft

Range

Speed

Time to 6,000 NM

Average Used Price

Airbus ACJ

6,000 NM

462 KTAS

13 hours

$60 Mil. U.S.D.

Boeing BBJ

6,200 NM

450 KTAS

13 hours, 25 minutes

$52 Mil. U.S.D.

Bombardier Global Express

6,700 NM

488 KTAS

12 hours, 20 minutes

$27 Mil. U.S.D.

Gulfstream G550

6,900 NM

480 KTAS

12 hours, 30 minutes

$41 Mil. U.S.D.

Future Aircraft

Gulfstream G650

7,000 NM

530 KTAS

11 hours, 25 minutes

$59 Mil. U.S.D. est.

Bombardier 8000

7,900 NM

488 KTAS

12 hours, 20 minutes

$65 Mil. U.S.D. est.

           

 

With Ultra Long-Range Aircraft Operations, extra steps in precautionary safety measures must be incorporated and used by the owner/operators of these aircraft. These measures include, for instance:

 

Additional Crew Members that enable especially pilots to operate within a safe and healthy duty-time allotment. Often one crew shall fly the first part of the ultra long mission, while the second crew takes over for the second part, i.e. a take-off crew, and a landing crew.

 

A passenger and crew movement, and exercise schedule to thwart the onset of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT.)

 

Proper provisions for a suitably quiet, dark and, comfortable rest area that can be used by both the crew and passengers alike.

 

Clean and safe galley areas that allow multiple meals to be both stored and served.

 

Sufficient stored water supply systems commensurate with the duration of the ultra long-range flight to be undertaken.

 

 The ability to step on board a private jet aircraft and then step off a little over 12 hours later, having travelled a full quarter of the way around the globe is attractive to many companies, individuals and government agencies. The need for this ultra long-range capability is evident when both the used and new aircraft sales picture is viewed as an individual stand-alone market against the rest of the market. Deliveries and transactions average 75 aircraft per year compared to about 1,100 transactions for all other aircraft, which places this market segment at almost 7% of all worldwide transactions. The general demand trend for Ultra Long-Range Jets is increasing.

Boeing Business JetGlobal Express

Gulfstream G550Airbus Corporate Jet