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Gulfstream touts G650 at NBAA convention

gulfstreamGulfstream Aerospace is well along in its effort to certify the ultra-large, ultra-long-range G650 in both the United States and Europe in 2011, with 700 test hours completed. Announced in 2008, the G650 will carry eight passengers and a crew of four on nonstop legs of 7,000 nautical miles. That means it will link Dubai with New York and London with Buenos Aires. Powered by Rolls-Royce BR725 engines, the G650 will cover shorter distances at a speed of Mach 0.925.

There are four aircraft in the test program. Between them, they have completed 200 flights for the total of 700 hours. “We are encouraged at the overall reliability of the G650,” said Senior Vice President Pres Henne. “As the test aircraft continue to fly, they are coming back without squawks.”

The aircraft has made a 5,000-nm closed-circuit test flight at Mach 0.90 above the Atlantic Ocean in nine hours and 45 minutes. Weight at takeoff was 99,538 pounds, close to its maximum takeoff weight of 99,600 pounds. The weight limit allows it to operate from weight-restricted airports such as Teterboro and Aspen.

Gulfstream is emphasizing the cabin during media presentations at the National Business Aviation Association convention in Atlanta. It has electric seats with heated back and base cushions, low cabin noise, cell phone chargers, and measures 75 inches high and 98 inches wide. Windows are 28 inches across. There is a divan that converts to an 80-by-41-inch flat surface. Cabin pressure is at 4,850 feet when the aircraft is at 51,000 feet.

Many of the cabin features have carried over to the large-cabin, mid-range Gulfstream G250 that is expected to be certified by the Civil Aviation Administration in Israel in 2011. The aircraft was developed in conjunction with Israel Aerospace Industries in Tel Aviv. While the G250 can seat up to 10 passengers in two areas, a more typical load is expected to be four passengers and two crew traveling at Mach 0.85 on a 3,400-nm trip.

Gulfstream also said it has improved the payload and performance of its large-cabin, long-range G450. By increasing maximum takeoff and maximum ramp weight, an increase in the payload of 700 pounds is now possible. The maximum takeoff weight is 74,600 pounds. The aircraft is now able to carry 12 passengers with full fuel at Mach 0.80 for 4,270 nm. It can travel 4,350 nm with eight passengers.

Finally, Gulfstream announced that five centers operated by General Dynamics Aviation Services—a network of five service center locations—will be rebranded Gulfstream, and Miscast Aviation in St. Louis will be rebranded Jet Aviation. The General Dynamics locations to be rebranded are located in Appleton, Wis.; Dallas; Las Vegas; West Palm Beach, Fla.; and Westfield, Mass.

Alton Marsh
Alton K. Marsh
Freelance journalist
Alton K. Marsh is a former senior editor of AOPA Pilot and is now a freelance journalist specializing in aviation topics.

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