There was a light show, fog machines, a thunderous video, and finally multi-panel video screens all slid to one side to show a G700 fuselage mockup. A crowd of 600 or so cheered and clapped in awe. This sort of spectacle hasn’t happened in a while, given the post-2008 shudder that went through the turbine market.
Gulfstream President Mark Burns got on stage and laid it all out. “This airplane has the tallest, widest, longest cabin in the industry,” he said. The superlatives kept coming. It’ll be not just big, but fast too, with a top speed of Mach 0.925. And long range, being able to fly 7,500 nautical miles at Mach 0.85 or 6,400 nm at Mach 0.90. It’ll have five seating zones; a circadian lighting system that can sunrise and sunset across time zones; a huge galley—an ultragalley, Gulfstream called it; an aft bedroom with en suite shower and lavatory; seats for up to 19; sleeping capacity for 10; and 20 of Gulfstream’s signature oval windows. Oh, and a reported price tag of—wait for it—$75 million.
Burns hinted that the G700 was the first of a new series of Gulfstreams, so we can probably expect follow-on models—each one bigger, faster, and longer-legged than the one before. The G700 will be powered by Rolls-Royce Pearl 700 turbofans of 18,250 pounds of thrust apiece. Takeoff weight will be 107,600 pounds, and maximum fuel weight will be 49,400 pounds, or about 7,373 gallons. Takeoff distance is currently set at 6,250 feet, and maximum operating altitude will be 51,000 feet. Those numbers make it sound more like an airliner, but a very luxurious one—capable of flying quieter, higher, and farther than all but long-range airliners. And with lower cabin altitudes. Gulfstream says that the cabin environment will be 100-percent fresh air. No recycling of nasty airliner cabin air here.
The cockpit will feature Gulfstream’s Symmetry Flight Deck with active control sidesticks, a head-up display with approval to touchdown and rollout, and what the company calls the most extensive use of touch-screen technology in the industry.
The first G700 deliveries will begin sometime in 2022.
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