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 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.
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.