At this week's National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Conference and Exhibition in Las Vegas, Bombardier Business Aircraft took the wraps off the latest flight prototype of its Global 7000 aircraft. Dubbed the "Architect," the fourth Global 7000 flight test vehicle (FTV4) is the first to make a public debut and the first fitted with a cabin interior.

The Global 7000 is the latest in Bombardier's stable of business jets. Using an advanced wing design, the eight-passenger aircraft has a range of 7,400 nm (13,705 km) while cruising at Mach 0.85 (647 mph, 1,041 km/h). But what makes it stand out is that it's the only business jet with an interior divided into four living spaces and a dedicated crew suite with amenities that include newly designed seats, a complete galley, and an entertainment system with fast Ka-band connections.

According to Bombardier, the purpose of the Architect is to specifically test the interior fittings. Before being ferried to Las Vegas, the Architect conducted its maiden flight on September 28 and the interiors went through ground evaluations using a bespoke test rig designed to simulate airframe motions and flight loads using a production fuselage and a pneumatic bed mounting.

Work is currently underway at Bombardier's facility in Toronto on the first eight production Global 7000 aircraft with certification and entry-into-service scheduled for the latter half of next year. The next step in the program will be to complete work on a fifth and final prototype called FTV5 or the Masterpiece.

"Our Global 7000 flight test vehicles continue to undergo rigorous testing at our world-class flight test center in Wichita, Kansas" says François Caza, Vice President, Product Development and Chief Engineer, Product Development Engineering. "Having now flown nearly 900 hours, the aircraft continue to perform extremely well and to exhibit a high level of reliability. Areas of the flight envelope and the performance of the systems, including at extreme temperatures, have been tested. The results show a maturity which is in full support of the planned certification activities."

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