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Gulfstream's 'super' jetsGulfstream's 'super' jets

Gulfstream revealed its new G250 super mid-size business jet at the National Business Aviation Association convention in Orlando, Fla., on Oct. 4. The G250 is a successor to the G200, which began life as the Galaxy.

Certification and first deliveries of the revamped airplane should occur in 2011.

Compared to the G200, the G250 has more powerful Honeywell HTF250G engines and a Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion-based avionics suite, dubbed the PlaneView250 cockpit by Gulfstream. The airplane will have a max cruise speed of Mach 0.85 and range of 3,400 nm. The max operating altitude will be 45,000 feet.

The G250 is priced at $24 million and will be built at the Israeli Aircraft Industries facility at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport.

In other news, Gulfstream is being coy about persistent rumors at NBAA concerning its plans for bringing a supersonic business jet (SSBJ) to life. The Defense Department has evidently assigned the “X-54” designator, but Gulfstream is feigning ignorance.

The company has, however, made no secret in the past of its research and design efforts in a supersonic business jet project. At one point, Gulfstream was partnered with Russia’s Sukhoi Design Bureau in an SSBJ effort, but no prototypes came of it.

The big hurdle is designing a supersonic airplane without a surface-recognizable sonic boom. Recent efforts have made progress in this area, however. Perhaps the X-54—if there is one—will benefit from NASA’s expertise (another rumor) to build a “quiet” SSBJ.

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