December 27, 2012
By Jim Moore
Gulfstream’s G650. Photo courtesy of Gulfstream Aerospace Corp.
With long legs and lots of legroom for eight passengers, the Gulfstream G650--billed as the new flagship of the Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. fleet--may soon arrive at a ramp near you. The company announced the first delivery has been made to a U.S. customer, and in nearly the same breath announced that the FAA on Dec. 20 granted a production certificate under Part 21. European regulators have also issued a type certificate, allowing G650 deliveries to begin in the 27 European Union member states.
The G650 has a top speed of Mach 0.925, making it, for now, the fastest business jet on the market. Cessna is hot on Gulfstream’s heels with the Citation X, billed as a Mach 0.935 performer on track for certification and first deliveries in 2013.
Both are raising the bizjet speed bar: The G650 can complete a 6,000-nautical-mile mission in 12 hours--a full hour less than competing models, the company noted at the annual National Business Aviation Association convention in October. The G650 can fly that mission with a crew of four in addition to eight passengers, with takeoff and landing performance that exceeded initial expectations, along with endurance: Reducing cruise speed from Mach 0.90 to Mach 0.85 yields a 7,000-nm range. Gulfstream also credits the G650 cabin with the largest cabin of any purpose-built business jet.
AOPA Online Associate Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys competition aerobatics.
Aircraft Power and Fuel,
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As the cold weather chills AOPA’s Headquarters in Frederick, many of us are inside generating new resources for flying clubs.
In my house, every Friday night is “Movie Night.” While the movies are rarely educational (I don’t think I learned anything from the Lego Movie), we look forward to the weekly opportunity to spend time together. Why not use the same concept for your Flying Club (with the addition of education, of course)?
The Aircraft Spotlight feature looks at an airplane type and evaluates it across six areas of particular interest to flying clubs and their members: Operating Cost, Maintenance, Insurability, Training, Cross-Country, and Fun Factor.
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