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Capable of a longer range and cruising at a faster speed compared to entry-level jets, large-cabin jets are a more spacious and better-equipped alternative for travelling executives and their entourage. Priced from approximately US$50 million (S$70.21 million), they can be configured to include separate suites, office spaces and entertainment areas, and in some cases, make nonstop flights between Hong Kong and New York, and London and Cape Town. We profile the top four on the market.
1. Falcon 8X
The Pratt & Whitney Canada PW307D turbofan-powered Dassault Falcon 8X is set to debut this year, and will be able to carry eight passengers and three crew, flying nonstop from either Hong Kong to Paris, Los Angeles to Beijing, or London to Cape Town with its maximum range of 6,450nm (11,945km) and at an altitude of 51,000ft (15,545m). Aviation experts will take note of its wings, constructed with two flaps, three airbrakes, and three leading-edge slats for a smoother flight. Pilots also operate on the EASy flight deck, which includes Honeywell’s next-gen 3D colour weather radar system and such optional upgrades as a wide-screen head-up display. Depending on it’s final configuration, it can operate at a maximum speed of Mach .90.
Comfort wise, the cabin falls short at with its length of 42ft 6in (13m). However, its width at 7.8ft (2.34m) and height of 6ft 2in (1.88m) make up for it. You may select from 30 layout configurations, and can accommodate anywhere from eight to 16 passengers. The entertainment suite is equipped with Wi-Fi capabilities and the company’s newest HD+ cabin management system — that means iPhone/iPad controls and accessing the Skybox™ wireless media server from the comfort of your seat.
2. Lineage 1000E
No large-cabin jet is more customisable than Embraer’s Lineage 1000E. Apart from housing a separate resting area for crew and full galley, its five-cabin layout with multiple design options can be configured over a hundred ways. Running on dual General Electric CF34-10E turbofan engines and the Honeywell Primus Epic avionics system, the jet can travel up to 4,600nm (8,519km) at a maximum altitude of 41,000ft (12,496m) and speed of Mach 0.78 with eight passengers. Depending on its final weight and configuration, it can operate at a speed of Mach 0.82.
The cabin, at a length of 84ft 4in (25.72m), width of 8ft 9in (2.67m) and height of 6ft 7in (2.04m), can be configured to seat 19. It also features a best-in-class accessible baggage compartment of 323cu ft (9,150l), bringing the total baggage space to 443cu ft (12,540l). And should red-eye flights beckon, the aircraft can be designed to fit a queen-sized bed and walk-in shower.
3. Global 8000
High fliers are surely anticipating the arrival (and delivery) of the Bombardier Global 8000’s expected debut in 2019. The aircraft will be powered by GE Passport engines and with the technologies of its Vision flight deck, hit an initial cruising altitude of 43,000ft (13,106m) before reaching a maximum of 51,000ft (15,545m). It also promises an industry-best range of 7,900nm (14,631km) at a cruising speed of Mach 0.85, and will make nonstop flights a reality for itineraries such as those flying from Sydney to Los Angeles, or Hong Kong to New York City.
During the journey, up to 13 passengers can stretch in style within one of the three zones that is 45ft 7in long (13.89m), 8ft 2in (2.49m) wide, and 6ft 3in (1.91m) high. Six large windows per zone afford ample natural lighting, while facilities include a separate office space, a plush aft stateroom with stand-up shower, and a roomy galley.
Until the Bombardier Global 8000 that’ll take flight a few years down the road, the Gulfstream G650 flies further than any large-cabin jet on the market, with a maximum range of 7,000nm (12,964km) when cruising at Mach 0.85 with eight passengers. The jet is outfitted with two Rolls-Royce BR725 A1-12 engines, while the PlaneView II system and fly-by-wire flight controls equip crew with state-of-the-art avionics. At best, the aircraft flirts with the supersonic at a maximum speed at Mach 0.925.
At 53ft 7in (16.33m) long, 8ft 6in (2.59m) wide and 6ft 5in (1.96m) high, it is also the largest in its class. Available in more than 12 configurations, the aircraft can seat up to 19 passengers. Passengers stay connected throughout the flight using the high-speed internet system, along with a Cabin Management System that syncs with both Apple and Android operating systems.