How time flies! A perfect phrase for the
Boeing Business Jet, which makes its owners more productive as they fly worldwide to do business.
Five years ago, The Boeing Company and General Electric announced they would bring to the marketplace a larger, more capable business airplane. On July 2, 1996, the Boeing Business Jet was born.
"We've experienced a wild ride," says Borge Boeskov, outgoing Boeing Business Jets president. "We initially saw a potential market of six airplanes per year, maybe eight if we were optimistic. We obviously underestimated the demand. It's been a wonderful and exciting adventure."
Boeskov, who will retire in early 2002 after 35 years at The Boeing Company, believes his BBJ assignment was the best of his career. At the Paris Air Show last month Boeing announced that Lee Monson will replace Boeskov as president of Boeing Business Jets.
Under Boeskov's leadership, the program has experienced tremendous success. The fleet of 33 in-service BBJs continues to increase regularly as more airplanes leave completion centers. Through October 2000, the company has sold 71 BBJs (the company announces orders once a year at the National Business Aviation Association trade show). BBJs are based in North and South America, Asia, Europe, South Africa and Australia. Customers include private individuals, heads of state, the armed forces and corporations such as GE, PrivatAir, Grupo Omnilife and Executive Jet.
Designed for corporate and VIP applications, the BBJ is a special, high-performance derivative of the Next-Generation 737-700. The addition of auxiliary fuel tanks provides owners with a business jet platform having a maximum range capability of 6,200 nautical miles (11,480 kilometers), while requiring less than 6,000 feet (1,829 meters) of runway.
With cruising speeds of up to .82 Mach - equivalent to a ground speed of 550 miles per hour (870 kilometers per hour) - the BBJ can serve such routes as Los Angeles to London or Paris, New York to Buenos Aires, Argentina, or London to Johannesburg, South Africa. The same CFM56-7 engines used on the Next-Generation 737 commercial airplanes power the BBJ.
In further response to market demand for additional cabin and luggage space, Boeing introduced the BBJ 2 in October 1999. The first BBJ 2, based on the 737-800, delivered "green" (no interior or paint) in March 2001 and should enter service next year.
Editor's note: A photo of the BBJ is available at
boeingmedia.com, Neg. No. K61476 (catalog number R22t)