Short Milestone Test Flight Signals Start Of New Generation Of
Gulfstream is confirming that its newest business jet and the
flagship of its fleet, the ultra-large-cabin, ultra-long-range
Gulfstream G650, has successfully completed its first flight just a
few moments ago.
Flown by experimental test pilot Jake Howard and senior
experimental test pilot Tom Horne, the G650 took off from
Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport at 1:41 p.m. local time
today (Wednesday) with flight engineer Bill Osborne on board.
Because pilots were alerted to a slight vibration in a landing-gear
door, they curtailed the testing regimen as a precautionary
measure. The aircraft landed 12 minutes later.
"We are pleased to announce that the G650 successfully completed
its first flight today," said Pres Henne, senior vice president,
Programs, Engineering and Test, Gulfstream. "Systems were fully
operational. The aircraft achieved an altitude of 6,600 feet and a
speed of 170 knots. Flight controls and characteristics performed
as expected. We consider this flight a success and look forward to
pursuing our full flight-test plan."
Under its own power, the G650 rolled out of the Savannah
manufacturing facility on Sept. 29, 2009. It remains on schedule
for type certification by 2011, followed by entry-into-service in
2012. Gulfstream boasts that the G650 offers the longest range at
the fastest speed in its class. Powered by Rolls-Royce BR725
engines, the bird is capable of traveling 7,000 nautical miles at
0.85 Mach and has a maximum operating speed of 0.925 Mach. Its
7,000-nautical-mile range means the G650 can fly nonstop from Dubai
to Chicago. With an initial cruise altitude of 41,000 feet at 0.85
Mach, the G650 can climb to a maximum altitude of 51,000 feet and
avoid traffic and inclement weather.
With its all-new aerodynamically optimized wing, the G650 can
meet the latest takeoff certification requirements. At maximum
takeoff weight, the aircraft can depart from a 6,000-foot runway.
The aircraft features the 'largest purpose-built' business-jet
cabin, which leaves room for larger galleys and lavatories, and
increased storage. The G650 seats 11-18 passengers and also has 16
Gulfstream-signature oval windows that measure 28 by 20.5 inches. A
cabin altitude of 4,850 feet at FL510 and 3,300 feet at FL410
reduces fatigue, increases mental alertness and enhances
productivity. A quieter cabin allows for a better environment for
conversation or relaxation.
The aircraft comes with the new Gulfstream Cabin Essential
package, so a single-point failure will not result in the loss of
functionality. That means a toilet always flushes; water is always
available; and an entertainment source always works. Additionally,
the G650 features the PlaneView II cockpit, and an Advanced Health
and Trend Monitoring System (AHTMS) to support aircraft maintenance
planning and enhance availability.