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Gulfstream G600 completes first flightGulfstream G600 completes first flight

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. jumped ahead of its own schedule and completed the first flight of its eight-passenger G600 ultralong-range aircraft on Dec. 17, the one hundred-thirteenth anniversary of powered flight. Taking off from Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport, Scott Martin and Todd Abler flew the G600 for 2 hours and 53 minutes. The flight “went exactly as anticipated,” according to a news release quoting Gulfstream President Mark Burns.

The Gulfstream G600 completed its first flight Dec. 17. Photo courtesy of Gulfstream Aerospace Corp.

The company said that during the test flight the G600 achieved an altitude of 35,000 feet and a speed of Mach 0.75, powered by a pair or Pratt & Whitney Canada turbofan engines pumping out 15,680 pounds of thrust.

Gulfstream’s G600 has an expected 6,200-nautical-mile cruise at Mach 0.85 and takes its place in the lineup with its 18-passenger G500 sister ship. Both aircraft edge out the ultralong-range G450 that debuted in 2003.

Two additional test-bed aircraft have joined the fleet “in anticipation of their flights early next year,” the company wrote.

Burns said the G600’s flight test program was “a milestone for us and our customers,” and represented a “significant step forward in the journey to certification and delivery.”

Gulfstream said the new jet was designed with customer input for an “unparalleled passenger experience.”

To that effect, the aircraft features a spacious cabin with 14 windows; high-speed internet; satellite communications; and configurations that can accommodate up to four flexible areas for work, entertainment, dining, and rest. In addition, the news release said passengers would benefit from “a low cabin altitude and 100 percent fresh air.”

Burns complimented the company’s "ground-based laboratories" and expected the company would remain on track for delivery of the G600 in 2018.

David Tulis

David Tulis

Associate Editor Web/ePilot
AOPA Associate Editor Web/ePilot David Tulis joined AOPA in 2015 and is a seaplane-rated private pilot who enjoys vintage aircraft, aerobatic flying, and photography.
Topics: Jet, Aviation Industry, Turbine

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