A vision takes flight! Nexcelle’s nacelles go airborne on the Bombardier Global 7000 business jet
November 10, 2016
Nexcelle marked an important milestone this month as the joint venture’s initial nacelle system has taken flight on the aircraft for which it has been designed: the Bombardier Global 7000 business jet.
Developed by Nexcelle parent companies Safran Nacelles and GE Aviation’s Middle River Aircraft Systems (MRAS), the nacelle system is a key element of the Global 7000’s Passport Integrated Propulsion System (IPS).
The Global 7000’s no. 1 Flight Test Vehicle (FTV1) performed its maiden mission November 4 from Bombardier’s facility in Toronto, Canada, touching down approximately 2.5 hours later with a full deployment of the Nexcelle nacelle system’s thrust reversers during landing rollout.
“This major achievement for Nexcelle was even more satisfying with the flight test crew demonstrating its confidence in our nacelle system by using reverse thrust from the aircraft’s first landing,” explained Jeremy Tschaepe, the Global 7000 nacelle system Program Manager at Middle River Aircraft Systems, who also has the lead program manager responsibility within the Nexcelle joint venture.
During its initial mission, the Global 7000 FTV1 reached an altitude of 20,000 feet and attained the planned test speed of 240 knots, initiating a flight test program that should lead to the business jet’s service entry in the second half of 2018.
“Dedicated teamwork,” backed by Nacelle’s parent companies
“Through dedicated teamwork within Nexcelle, our joint venture has taken its first product from concept to reality, backed by the resources of its two parent companies,” said Isabelle Vougaz, the Global 7000 nacelle system Program Manager at Safran Nacelles. “We continue to deliver follow-on hardware and are preparing for the production phase.”
As the flagship of Bombardier’s Global family of large business jets, the Global 7000 is powered by two GE Aviation Passport engines. Within the Nexcelle joint venture’s work sharing arrangement, Middle River Aircraft Systems supplies the nacelle system’s inlet, fan cowls and apron adapter for the side-fuselage mounted Passport powerplants, while Safran Nacelles produces the target-type thrust reverser.
Features of the Nexcelle nacelle system include the extensive use of composites for lighter weight, and the target-type thrust reverser with kicker plates and fixed nozzle for consistent cruise performance and enhanced thrust efficiency when deployed in the reverse mode.
Prior to this month’s Global 7000 first flight, the Passport engine and nacelle system underwent ground testing and qualification, while more than 100 flight hours were logged with a powerplant installed on GE Aviation’s Boeing 747 testbed aircraft operated from Mojave, California.