First Boeing Business Jet Rolls Out To Seattle Sunshine

With the famed "bluest skies" beckoning, the first Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) rolled out of the Boeing factory yesterday.

Boeing Business Jets, a joint venture between The Boeing Company and General Electric Co., has 29 orders for the high-performance derivative of the Next-Generation 737-700.

"We are delighted to show the world the first Boeing Business Jet," said Borge Boeskov, president - BBJ. "This is a great achievement for Boeing, GE and our customers around the world. The airplane is a reality. Now, we're ready for flight test."

Specifically designed for corporate and executive travel, the BBJ combines the size of the Next-Generation 737-700 fuselage with the strengthened wings and landing gear from the larger and heavier 737-800. That combination provides a platform with a range capability of more than 6,000 nautical miles and extraordinary payload capability. The BBJs, powered by the same CFM56-7 engines used on other Next-Generation 737 jetliners, can reach a cruising speed of .82 Mach, or approximately 550 miles per hour.

The BBJ boasts an 807-square-foot passenger cabin that provides about three times the space of other competitors' products. The cabin can accommodate a variety of configurations, with space for conference rooms, executive offices and individual work areas. Personalized comfort is the byword here: The cabin can be designed to exactly match a customer's personal work and travel preferences.

Options for the BBJ include a private crew rest area or emergency medical facility, an advanced satellite communications center, an exercise suite with full-size shower, a remote communications center, or a disaster relief center.

"This airplane is not just a way to get from point A to point B," Boeskov said. "With three times the space of other business and VIP airplanes, the BBJ makes flying highly productive and comfortable for today's business travelers. You don't just fly to your destination. You take your office, your hotel room, your meeting facilities and your restaurant right along with you."

The business jet is comparably priced to existing ultra long-range corporate jets. The price for an unfurnished, or "green," airplane is $33.75 million. A completely furnished and equipped business jet will cost approximately $40 million to $45 million.

The first BBJ is expected to take to the Seattle skies for the first time in late August or early September.