MEMBER ALERT: AOPA is closed today, March 5, due to inclement weather. We will reopen March 6 at 8:30 a.m. Eastern.
October 29, 2012
By Thomas A. Horne
Gulfstream Aerospace boasted Oct. 29 that its newly certified ultra-large-cabin G650 has proven to fly faster farther than any other airplane in the business jet fleet. The G650’s range at Mach 0.90 is now 6,000 nautical miles, said Gulfstream President Larry Flynn. This represents a 1,000-nm increase over the original range expectations for the airplane, and enables G650 owners to fly city pairs such as New York to Dubai, Shanghai to London, or Moscow to Los Angeles nonstop, Gulfstream said. The G650 can complete a 6,000-nm mission in 12 hours. That’s one hour less than competing ultra-long-range business jets, said Gulfstream Senior Vice President of Engineering Pres Henne.
The G650 has a maximum cruise speed of Mach 0.925, Henne said. But though each of its Rolls-Royce BR725 engines puts out 16,900 pounds of thrust, they burn less fuel and produce fewer emissions than competing designs in the ultra-long-range category.
Also on display at NBAA2012 is Gulfstream’s newly certified G280, a super-mid-size jet capable of flying 3,600 nm at Mach 0.80. The original range target was 3,400 nm, but as tests eventually revealed, the airplane was capable of more efficient flight than originally anticipated. In the same vein, it was learned that the airplane’s balanced field length is actually 4,750 feet—a 210-foot reduction from earlier estimates.
In other news, Gulfstream showed its commitment to green fuels by flying all five of its demonstration airplanes to NBAA2012 in Orlando on a 50-50 blend of biofuel and Jet A. The biofuel, dubbed Honeywell Green Jet Fuel, was made from camelina—a non-food plant that can be grown in rotation with wheat and other cereal crops. Gulfstream said that based on lifetime cycle studies, burning each gallon of the biofuel instead of Jet A reduces carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by 68 percent.
Scott Neal, Gulfstream senior vice president of sales and marketing, said, “Using biofuels is part of a multipronged approach Gulfstream has taken toward sustainability. In addition to reducing our carbon footprint, we’re focused on improving aircraft efficiencies.”
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.
Aircraft Power and Fuel,
AOPA has joined the “Know Before You Fly” campaign that seeks to educate users of unmanned aircraft systems about safe and responsible operations, including where and how high unmanned aircraft may be flown.
A metal detector enthusiast recently unearthed fragments of a legendary World War II aircraft, and the U.S. Navy deployed a team to investigate in February.
New Zealand helicopter company Composite Helicopters is moving from kit to certified carbon fiber rotorcraft.
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