September 30, 2009
Gulfstream’s new top-of-the-line flagship, the G650, rolled out of the Savannah, Ga., factory on Sept. 29. The airplane rolled out under its own power, in front of an audience of 7,000 onlookers—including customers, certification authorities, and local dignitaries.
“Our customers had an instrumental role in the design of the G650,” said Pres Henne, Gulfstream’s senior vice president of programs, engineering and test. “The G650 will set new levels of performance in aircraft capability, cabin environment, and maintainability. Customer input was used to guide fuselage selection as well as aircraft performance characteristics.”
The G650 will come with what the company calls Gulfstream Cabin Essentials. This includes redundant fiber optic and wireless technologies, along with the “latest innovations in lighting, seating, acoustics, and cabin systems,” said Henne.
Gulfstream announced the G650 in March 2008. The airplane is set for its first flight later this year and is expected to be certified in 2011. First deliveries are planned for 2012.
The G650 seats 11 to 18 passengers; is powered by two Rolls-Royce BR725 A1-12 engines of 16,100 lb thrust apiece; has a maximum cruise speed of Mach 0.90; and can fly 7,000 nm at Mach 0.85. Maximum operating altitude is 51,000 feet.
Environmental groups are asking the EPA to take another look at avgas even as a government-industry program moves closer to finding unleaded alternatives.
Collaboration between the German government, academia, and airplane manufacturers may make future aircraft cabins more protective of pilots and passengers. The Safety Box team plans to apply auto racing technology to general aviation.
A father and his 14-year-old son were helping another pilot ferry a newly purchased aircraft from California to their home field in Virginia. The three made an overnight stop in Albuquerque before flying on to Illinois for fuel. But shortly after they parked the aircraft in Marion, Ill., they were approached by as many as 18 uniformed and non-uniformed law enforcement officers who came running toward the airplane.
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