November 18, 2011
By Alton K. Marsh
Gulfstream Aerospace has received a provisional type certificate for its Gulfstream G650, clearing the way for the company to begin interior completions. A provisional certification is the first of a two-step certification approach that has been in use for 15 years. It aids manufacturers in maintaining development schedules.
Customer deliveries following the final stage of certification are planned for the second quarter of 2012. Both the Gulfstream V and the Gulfstream 550 were issued provisional type certificates prior to gaining full certification. On April 2, a G650 doing takeoff-performance testing crashed at Roswell, N.M., killing all four people aboard. Testing was temporarily suspended. The accident did not alter the planned schedule for deliveries in 2012.
The G650 can achieve long-range cruise at Mach 0.85 when flying 7,000 nautical miles carrying eight passengers and a crew of four. Normal cruise speed is Mach 0.90, with a range of 5,000 nautical miles. On shorter flights, it can carry 11 to 18 passengers. It has a six-foot, five-inch cabin height with a length of 46 feet, 10 inches. The cabin is eight feet, six inches wide. The aircraft, powered by Rolls Royce BR725 engines with 16,100 pounds of thrust each, has a maximum takeoff weight of 99,600 pounds.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
A new FAA policy on obstructive sleep apnea that addresses many of the concerns raised by AOPA is scheduled to take effect March 2.
AOPA and the National Business Aviation Association have jointly filed an amicus, or friend of the court, brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as part of the ongoing legal battle over the future of Santa Monica Municipal Airport.
AOPA worked with the flight training industry and FAA to quickly resolve a problem that suddenly put many rating applications on hold.
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