Boeing Business Jets Extends Product Line With New, Larger Model

Boeing Business Jets today announced the launch of a new product that will extend its product line and provide business and VIP customers with even more interior space, comfort and utility than its initial product offering -- the highly successful Boeing Business Jet (BBJ).

The announcement was made by Boeing Business Jets President Borge Boeskov at the annual National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) convention in Atlanta, Ga.

The new product, dubbed BBJ 2, is larger than the current product offering and will be built on a 737-800 fuselage, which is 20 feet longer than the 737-700 fuselage upon which the BBJ is based. The BBJ 2 will have 25 percent more floor space, more than twice the luggage space of that in the BBJ. Range for the BBJ 2 will be 5,800 nautical miles, a little less than the 6,200 nautical miles of the BBJ. The first 'green' (no interior or paint) BBJ 2 delivery is scheduled for December 2000. The BBJ 2 has a 'green' price of $43 million (1999$).

"We are bringing out BBJ 2 because our customers have asked for it," Boeskov said. "This is a natural evolution in the development of a family of BBJs designed to serve the growing needs of global leaders in the business, government and private sectors. Offering both the BBJ and BBJ 2 will help us capture an even larger part of the emerging market for ultra-long-range business jets."

The airplane will cruise at speeds up to .82 Mach, equivalent to a ground speed of 550 miles per hour, and is able to serve such routes as New York to Buenos Aires and London to Johannesburg. The same CFM56-7 engines used on the Next-Generation 737 commercial airplanes power the BBJ 2. CFM International, a 50/50 joint company of GE and Snecma of France, produces the engines.

Like the initial model, the BBJ 2 will be outfitted with auxiliary fuel tanks supplied by PATS, Inc., of Georgetown, Del., and equipped with Aviation Partners Inc., winglets. The winglets reduce drag and enhance the performance of the airplane. They are installed after delivery.

The spacious interior provides room for new features typically not found in other corporate jets. These features can include a private crew rest area or emergency medical facility, an advanced satellite communications center, an exercise suite, full-sized bathrooms and showers, conference room, dining room, bedrooms and full-service office facilities.

Boeing Business Jets is a joint venture launched on July 2, 1996, by The Boeing Company and General Electric, to respond to market demand for a larger, more capable business airplane. It was established as a marketing arrangement in the form of a contract joint venture.

Boeing manages day-to-day operations, manufactures the airplane, and is responsible for sales and marketing activities with support from General Electric.

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Fred Kelley