Boeing Business Jets Delivers First BBJs

The world of business travel acquired a new dimension this week with the delivery of the first Boeing Business Jets. Both deliveries took place this week, one to GE and one to an undisclosed customer.

Borge Boeskov, president - Boeing Business Jets, was pleased with these two deliveries and said they represent an important BBJ milestone and more on-schedule performance for the program.

"Delivering these two airplanes in one week, one to our partner GE, is encouraging to us." Boeskov said. "We're anxious to get BBJs into the hands of our customers, where the performance and utility of the airplane can be demonstrated in a real business environment."

Boeing Business Jets' current order book stands at 46. Nine are committed to the Boeing NetJets fractional-ownership program, a joint venture between Boeing Business Jets and Executive Jet. Executive Jet is owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

The Boeing Business Jets joint venture was launched in 1996 by Boeing and GE. The BBJ, specifically designed for VIP and executive customers, combines the size of the 737-700 fuselage (110 feet 4 inches) with the strengthened wings and landing gear used by the larger and heavier 737-800.

The airplane has a range of more than 7,000 statute miles (6,085 nautical miles; 11, 270 kilometers) - nearly twice the range of a conventional 737-700 - and can cruise at speeds up to Mach 0.82, equivalent to a ground speed of 550 miles per hour.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes provides airplanes to Boeing Business Jets, which delivers them to PATS Inc. in Georgetown, Del., for installation of supplemental fuel tanks. From there, the airplanes are flown to customer-selected centers around the world for interior installation and exterior paint. Five such centers include Associated Air Center in Dallas; The Jet Center in Van Nuys, Calif.; Raytheon in Waco, Texas; Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg, Germany; and Jet Aviation in Basel, Switzerland. Other completion centers are available and may be used at the discretion of the customer.

The unfurnished or "green" airplane is comparably priced to existing executive jets, selling for $33.8 million. A completely furnished and equipped BBJ costs approximately $40 million to $45 million.

The first BBJ to roll off the assembly line is being used by Boeing as a demonstrator model and was certified by the Federal Aviation Administration and Europe's Joint Aviation Authorities on October 30.

The Boeing Company is the largest aerospace company in the world. It is the world's largest manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft, and is the nation's largest NAeSA contractor. Company revenues in 1997 were $45.8 billion.

Boeing has customers in 145 countries and employees in more than 60 countries and 27 states. Worldwide, Boeing and its subsidiaries employ more than 234,600 people. More than 14,000 Boeing commercial airplanes have been ordered and more than 12,000 delivered. Of these totals, more than 4,000 of these orders and more than 3,000 of these deliveries have been model 737s - the airplane upon which the Boeing Business Jet is based - and the world's best-selling and most reliable commercial jetliner.