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Tue, May 04, 2010

Third G250 Test Aircraft Nearly Ready To Fly

Stall Testing And Other Program Activities Proceeding "Well"

Gulfstream said Monday at EBACE that the wing, empennage and engines have been installed on the third Gulfstream G250 test aircraft, and testing of the aircraft's systems is under way. Known as serial number (S/N) 2003, the aircraft will be used to test systems functionality and reliability.

G250 Rollout File Photo

The G250 flight-test and certification program consists of three aircraft and an estimated 1,300 hours of flight time. The first G250 test aircraft, S/N 2001, joined the flight-test program on Dec. 11, 2009, and is being used to examine in-flight performance and handling. S/N 2002, which focuses on avionics testing, first flew on March 24. Together, the two aircraft have accumulated nearly 80 hours in flight, with S/N 2001 already achieving the maximum certified speed and altitude of Mach 0.85 and 45,000 feet (13,716 m).

G250 S/N 2002

"The G250 handles like a large-cabin Gulfstream aircraft," said John O'Meara, chief test pilot. "It's a good-handling airplane. We completed the aerodynamic stall test program, and the resultant performance was even better than we predicted. It's very similar to a Gulfstream V in terms of its handling characteristics."

Other aspects of the G250's test program are also progressing as planned. Several structural tests have been completed, including flap ultimate load, ultimate horizontal stabilizer down bending, ultimate fuselage up bending and wing down bending. Additionally, the fuselage has been joined for the fatigue test article.

G250 First Flight File Photo

Additional tests have been completed in the aircraft's Integration Test Facility (ITF). The G250 is the first mid-size Gulfstream with its own ITF. Based in Savannah, the facility has been used to integrate the software and hardware for the jet's state-of-the-art PlaneView 250 avionics platform and to develop the procedures for the Airplane Flight Manual (AFM). Gulfstream also used the ITF for the aircraft's human factors evaluation by the Civil Aviation Authority of Israel (CAAI), the FAA and the EASA. That evaluation is now complete.

The first G250 rolled out of the IAI manufacturing facility in Tel Aviv under its own power on Oct. 6, 2009. It remains on schedule for type certification by 2011, followed by entry-into-service the same year.



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