I just got back from a week in Wichita doing autopilot flight testing on the prototype Bombardier Global 5000. The aircraft is basically a Global Express with 32 inches removed from the forward fuselage, and less fuel capacity. From the cockpit you would have a very hard time figuring out which one you were in, as it has the same excellent handling of the original Global Express. It had been awhile since I had flown a Global Express, so it was a real treat to do these flights, but it was a shame that it was autopilot testing, because that meant that "George" got to do most of the flying.

The top picture shows the prototype Global 5000 taking off on its first flight. The lower picture shows the same aircraft all gussied up at the Paris Air Show.

This baby motors right along. Normal cruise speed is Mach 0.85 (487 kt or 561 mph at ISA standard temperature) up at 45,000 to 49,000 ft. High speed cruise is Mach 0.88 (504 kt or 581 mph).

The week before my trip to Wichita I ended up spending a lot of time sorting out various household odds and ends, so I didn't make as much progress on the aircraft as I would have liked. Tomorrow I hope to attack filling and sanding the canopy skirt again.

And today I discovered that our washing machine has had a major failure. I spent some time this afternoon starting to rip it apart, but it became pretty clear that I will need some professional assistance to sort this one out.