Nearly a year after Bombardier brought its flagship Global 7500 to market, the Montreal-based manufacturer has been ramping up production and continuing to lift the curtain on new high-end cabin features designed for ultra-long-range flight, the latest of which is its immersive high-fidelity audio system dubbed l’Opera.
To be showcased next week at Bombardier’s static display at Henderson Executive Airport during NBAA-BACE, l’Opera is an advanced audio system with full-range speakers, the latest in digital signal processing, and “seat-centric” sound technology that is able to follow the passenger in the cabin.
Developed in concert with Lufthansa Technik, which provides the nice Touch cabin management system for the Global 7500, l’Opera was inspired by advances both in home theater technologies and in automotive sound systems, said Tim Fagan, manager of industrial design for Bombardier.
L’Opera incorporates a series of mid-range and high-range speakers, including a rotational center speaker in the entertainment desk suite. Each living space has its own combination of speakers strategically directed to provide a sound mixture maximized at the passenger’s listening level. These are accompanied by subwoofers integrated into bulkhead walls and divans to provide a balanced surround-sound experience. The system can produce 1,275 watts of power.
Driving this is digital signal processing with Class D amplifiers. The processing has built-in algorithms that adjust to sounds—from the sound of a whisper to an explosion sound in a movie—eliminating the need to adjust the volume, Fagan said, adding that that “intelligent” approach was implemented throughout the system. The digital processing system is designed to provide as clear a sound as possible.
As for the seat-centric approach, the system is designed to provide “a rich audio field exactly at the level of the user,” Fagan said, but at the same time can be personalized to the individual’s audio “sweet spot” that is adjusted through tablets. Passengers can opt for that sweet spot wherever they sit—or recline—throughout the cabin.
The sound system is the latest of cabin amenities that Bombardier has slowly been detailing over the past 18 months. This past spring, Bombardier unveiled its Soleil (French for “sun”) circadian rhythm-based cabin lighting technology in the Global 7500. It uses specific combinations of red and blue light wavelengths believed to stimulate or suppress melatonin. Soleil can automatically adjust cabin lights to align passengers’ circadian rhythms. A year earlier Bombardier took the wraps off its Nuage (“cloud”) seat technology.