For the first time at a public venue, a fully completed Boeing Business Jet, finished with executive interior and fitted with "blended winglets" is on display in England at the Farnborough International air show.
The airplane arrived over the weekend with Boeing Chairman and CEO Phil Condit, BBJ president Borge Boeskov and others aboard.
The brand-new BBJ, delivered recently to Boeing, will perform double duty as a working tool for Boeing executives and as a sales demonstrator for Boeing Business Jets.
Dubbed "BCJ1", for Boeing Corporate Jet number 1, the visiting airplane's configuration comes with two full baths (each with its own shower) bedrooms, office, meeting and dining room, lounge and crew rest facilities.
"The BBJ makes us much more productive," said Phil Condit. "The space, onboard communications technology, living and working accommodations and performance reliability provide a travel environment that lets us work as though we are in the home office."
Keeping pace with business globalization and advances in technology, the BBJ features Connexion by BoeingSM - the company's mobile broadband initiative that will provide commercial airline and business jet travelers real-time, high-speed, two-way access to e-mail, Internet, corporate Intranet and live news and entertainment while in flight.
Condit, who travels most of the year, noted that a round-the-world business trip, which used to take 9-10 days on a traditional business jet, could be done in 4-5 days with the BBJ.
"With nearly three-times the space of traditional business jets, the BBJ lets our management team eat, sleep, work and even entertain while we travel and no matter where we happen to be in the world," he said. "It relieves us of the need to check in and out of hotels, visit restaurants and spend time processing through congested airport terminals. The bottom line is that we are much more productive than we could be without the BBJ."
Borge Boeskov, president of Boeing Business Jets, has been running BBJ since its startup as a joint marketing venture between Boeing and General Electric Company in July 1996. As former head of Boeing sales for Europe and later as head of new product development for the airplane group, Boeskov's phenomenal success with the program has surprised the industry.
"Preliminary estimates of a market for this product were in the neighborhood of 6-8 airplanes per year. Actual sales performance has been about three times that amount," Boeskov said. "The time was just right. The new global economy, management by teams rather than individuals, the emergence of new technology communication tools - all of these things pointed to the need for a larger, longer-range bizjet platform for leaders of global companies. In a way, the BBJ is a 'time-machine' for global leaders. It lets them take their office, hotel room, restaurant, conference room, and communication infrastructure wherever they do business. Where traditional business aviation has been point-to-point transportation, the BBJ is point-to-point comfort and productivity."
The BBJ on display at Farnborough is equipped with two full-sized showers, including a new prototype Aquajetä shower with advanced filtration and sterilization, allowing multiple uses of the same five gallons of water. Since water is very heavy, the Aquajet system is a very important development for business jet applications. In addition to the onboard Aquajet shower there is a prototype version on display at the BBJ exhibit at Farnborough.
Among the newest technology on the BBJ being shown for the first time at Farnborough - and by far the most visible new feature of the Boeing Business Jet - are the more than eight-foot high blended technology winglets at the tip of each BBJ wing. Used for several years on smaller bizjets, blended winglets are now standard equipment on the BBJ. Designed by Aviation Partners Inc., a Seattle based company, the blended winglets have been flight-tested extensively over the past two years and are being shown in production version for the first time this year at Farnborough. Boeing has announced a joint venture with Aviation Partners Inc. to make retrofit blended winglets available for airline customers. Besides giving the BBJ a sportier, more "bizjet-like" appearance, the winglets create more efficient flight characteristics for the airplane, translating into approximately 200 nautical miles of additional range with the same fuel and payload.
Orders for the BBJ are announced annually at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) conference in October. Last October, announced orders stood at 56 airplanes. This number will be adjusted for sales since then when the company attends the NBAA conference this October in New Orleans.
BBJs are delivered "green" (i.e. without interior or paint). They are then sent Decrane Aircraft Systems Integration Group, PATS Delaware facility, for installation of auxiliary fuel tanks. The customer can choose to install up to nine additional fuel tanks to match payload and range mission requirements. Next, the BBJ is sent to a "completion center" of the customer's choosing for interior completion. Currently there are seven BBJ completion centers worldwide - two in Europe and five in the United States.
Cumulative green deliveries as of July 2000 stand at 46. Of these, eleven are fully completed and in-service. These eleven BBJs have generated nearly 3,000 fleet hours to date and out of 1,200 fleet cycles the BBJ has experienced only one dispatch delay. Reliability and low maintenance for the BBJ relative to traditional business jets is an added benefit of basing the airplane on Boeing's best selling airliner, the 737.
The BBJ is a special, high-performance derivative of the Next-Generation 737-700. Specifically designed for corporate and VIP applications, the BBJ combines the size of the 737-700 fuselage (110 feet 4 inches, 33.6 meters) with the strengthened wings and landing gear from the larger and heavier 737-800. The tailored combination provides owners with a business jet platform having maximum range capability of 7,130 statue miles (6,200 nautical miles, 11,482 kilometers) while requiring less than 6,000 feet (1,829 meters) of runway. With nearly three times the room of other airplanes in this range category, the Boeing Business Jet provides flexibility beyond that of any competitor.
The airplane cruises at speeds up to .82 Mach - equivalent to a ground speed of 550 miles per hour - and serves such routes as Los Angeles to London or Paris; New York to Buenos Aires, Argentina; and London to Johannesburg, South Africa. The same CFM56-7 engines used on the Next-Generation 737 commercial airplanes power it. CFM International, a 50/50 joint company of GE and Snecma of France, produces the engines.
The BBJ is comparably priced to existing long-range corporate jets. The price for a "green" airplane is $37.9 million for delivery in July 2000. Interior completion costs can add $8 million to $12 million, for a total price at completion of $45.9 million to $49.9 million.
The first Boeing Business Jet rolled out of the Boeing Renton, Wash., factory on July 26, 1998 and received FAA and JAA certification on Oct. 29, 1998.
Boeing Business Jets is also in partnership with Executive Jet, a Berkshire Hathaway company, to provide customers with fractional ownership options of the BBJ. The joint venture, Boeing NetJets, offers a standard interior configuration and full operational support for "time-share" programs beginning at 100 hours per year. This arrangement has been enormously popular with all sizes of private aircraft operation through the Executive Jet program in the U.S. and Europe.
The BBJ 2, announced in Oct. 1999 and based on the 737-800 (the BBJ is based on the 737-700) is 129 feet 6 inches (39.5 meters) long overall, has 1,004 square feet of floor space (93.27 square meters), and has 25 percent more luggage and interior space than the BBJ. The BBJ 2 sells "green" for $47 million (July 2001 delivery) and $56 million to $61 million with completed interior.