First Delivery Expected By Year's End
The FAA and the civil Aviation Authority of Israel (CAAI) have certified Gulfstream's G280 aircraft. The certificates verify the airworthiness of the aircraft’s design and are among the final steps required before Gulfstream delivers the first fully outfitted G280 to a customer.
The G280, a joint effort between Gulfstream and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), offers the most comfortable cabin and the longest range at the fastest speed in its class. “Gulfstream is excited to bring this aircraft to its customers, especially since we’re able to provide a plane that does more than we originally announced,” said Larry Flynn, president, Gulfstream. “The G280 has a range of 3,600 nautical miles at Mach 0.80. This increase of 200 nm over our original projections results in increased fuel efficiency and lower operating costs for our customers. It’s the only mid-sized aircraft that can reliably fly nonstop between London and New York. Additionally, our customers will find that the newly designed G280 has a great deal in common with large-cabin Gulfstream aircraft in terms of safety, reliability, handling, styling and cabin management. The G280 is an all-around fantastic plane.”
Joseph Weiss, IAI’s president and CEO, said: “Gulfstream and IAI have applied their unique technological strengths through all stages of development, manufacturing and certification of the G280. These certifications demonstrate this team’s tremendous technological abilities.” Gulfstream will deliver the first G280 aircraft before year-end to a U.S.-based manufacturer with a worldwide presence spanning 190 countries.
Gulfstream announced the G280 on October 5, 2008, as a replacement for the large-cabin, mid-range G200. The aircraft rolled out under its own power on October 6, 2009, at the IAI facility near Tel Aviv before a crowd of more than 1,000 people. Its first flight, on December 11, 2009, lasted 3 hours and 21 minutes and saw the aircraft fly to 32,000 feet and achieve a maximum speed of 253 knots. A total of three G280 aircraft participated in the flight-test program, flying more than 2,150 hours over 794 test flights. The aircraft received a provisional type certificate from the CAAI on December 29, 2011, and the FAA on March 1, 2012.
As with all Gulfstream aircraft, the G280 was designed with considerable input from Gulfstream customers who participate in the company’s Customer Advisory Board. “Their contributions were invaluable in creating a super mid-sized aircraft that flies so far and so fast,” said Pres Henne, senior vice president, Programs, Engineering and Test, Gulfstream. “The G280, with a top speed of Mach 0.85, already has set four city-pair speed records. We anticipate it will set many, many more in the months and years to come thanks to its advanced wing design and its fuel-efficient Honeywell HTF250G engines, each of which delivers 7,445 pounds of thrust. The significant range and speed increase compared to the G200 is achieved while burning less fuel.
The G280 has an all-new, advanced transonic wing design that has been optimized for high-speed cruise and improved takeoff field length performance. At its maximum takeoff weight of 39,600 pounds, the aircraft offers a balanced field length of 4,750 feet, an improvement of more than 1,300 feet over the G200 it replaces and 210 feet less than originally announced at the program’s outset.
“The new G280 aircraft is the impressive result of an extensive development program,” said David Dagan, vice president and general manager, Commercial Aircraft Group, IAI. “The aircraft’s performance ultimately exceeds initial projections.” The aircraft’s engine-wing combination gives the G280 tremendous climb performance, propelling it to 43,000 feet in less than 23 minutes. The aircraft’s maximum cruise altitude is 45,000 feet.
The community noise characteristics are a cumulative 15.8 dB below FAA Stage 4 noise requirements. This level is more than 5 dB quieter than the predecessor model and reflects Gulfstream’s continuing commitment to improved design. The G280 includes auto braking as a standard feature. This system improves passenger comfort and reduces brake wear, resulting in lower operating costs. It also improves safety while reducing pilot workload. The brake-by-wire system features an individual, anti-skid, completely independent mechanical backup and a brake temperature monitoring system.
The G280 features the most advanced flight deck in its class, the PlaneView280, based on Rockwell Collins ProLine Fusion avionics. It includes three 15-inch liquid crystal displays that are capable of showing multiple formats, including a navigation map with terrain; approach and airport charts; graphical flight planning, and optional enhanced vision. The cockpit also includes a standby multi-function controller, dual Gulfstream signature cursor control devices, dual auto-throttle and two PlaneBook subscriptions. It’s the only aircraft in its class to offer automatic descent mode as a standard feature. Other features include wide area augmentation system/localizer performance with vertical guidance (WAAS-LPV), future air navigation system (FANS) 1/a and controller-pilot datalink communication (CPDLC), electronic charts on cockpit displays and worldwide graphical weather.
“The PlaneView280 system is designed to improve situational awareness and safety through its highly interactive controls and interfaces as well as its advanced graphics and synoptics,” Henne said. “Optional features further enhance the capabilities of the flight deck. These include the Rockwell Collins HGS-6250 Head-Up Display (HUD II) and Gulfstream Enhanced Vision System (EVS II).”
Comfort and convenience are just two highlights of the G280 cabin. The aircraft has the longest seating area in its class and a total cabin length of 25 feet, 10 inches. This additional space provides for a larger lavatory, an improved galley and increased storage. Customers can select from three interior floor plans, which seat from eight to 10 and berth up to four. All of them offer significant storage capabilities, with total storage of up to 154 cubic feet.
The aircraft has new seats, measuring 21 inches between the arm rests and featuring new styling details, a telescoping headrest with optional flexible wings, an articulating seat pan for full-flat berthing and an optional recliner-style leg rest.
The Gulfstream Cabin Management System serves as the backbone of the cabin experience. This Gulfstream-designed and -controlled system allows for digital control of the cabin system network, including high-definition audio and video components. The passenger control units are loaded onto an iPod Touch® and provide the floor plan of the aircraft. Intuitive controls are provided for lighting, temperature, entertainment equipment, attendant call and other cabin functions, including the Gulfstream CabinView Passenger Flight Information System.
CabinView, a Gulfstream-designed and -controlled system, provides flight and cabin information, such as geographic boundaries, borders and points of interest. Additional content, such as stock prices and weather, can be tailored through optional high-speed Internet data.
The cabin adheres to Gulfstream’s Cabin Essential design philosophy. This means the cabin systems (lighting, power, cabin control, cabin entertainment, and the water and waste systems) are designed with redundancy that minimizes the risk of losing cabin functionality.
“This aircraft leads its class in every significant aspect of performance and comfort,” Flynn said.