The first production Gulfstream G280 recently arrived at the Gulfstream Mid-Cabin Completions Center of Excellence in Dallas, where it is being outfitted and painted for delivery later this year.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) experimental test pilots flew the super midsized aircraft, Serial Number 2004, from IAI in Tel Aviv, where the airframe is manufactured, to the Gulfstream facility in Dallas, where Gulfstream mid-cabin aircraft undergo final phase manufacturing.
"This is a significant transition in the G280 program, as we near the completion of flight test and launch final phase manufacturing," said Pres Henne, senior vice president, Programs, Engineering and Test, Gulfstream. "In anticipation of the G280's arrival in Dallas, we built and fit-tested the cabin components, such as the upper and lower galley, divan, vanity and end cabinets, in our test rig, the Iron Bird. At the same time, we're testing the final phase systems in the integration test facility. All of this will help ensure a smoother entry into service for the aircraft later this year."
The G280 flight-test program continues as well. The three aircraft in the program have accumulated more than 1,500 hours over more than 550 flights, bringing the aircraft several steps closer to its anticipated 2011 certification by the Civil Aviation Authority of Israel (CAAI), the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The aircraft have completed the second phase of human factors testing with representatives from CAAI, EASA and the FAA.
Additionally, function and reliability testing is well under way at IAI. This testing simulates typical, in-service flight operations, such as takeoffs, landings, instrument landing system approaches and hot/cold/humid air operations, to ensure the aircraft, its components and its equipment are reliable and function properly.
The fatigue test article, Serial Number 1999, is used to validate the aircraft's structural durability. The testing is designed to simulate each phase of flight: taxi, takeoff, cruise, descent and landing. Aircraft 1999, a complete aircraft without systems or interior, has undergone more than 5,000 of the 40,000 cycles required to assess the airframe's durability over 2.5 lifetimes.
Gulfstream announced the G280 program in October 2008. The aircraft offers the largest cabin and the longest range at the fastest speed in its class. It is capable of traveling 3,400 nautical miles (6,300 km) at Mach 0.80 and has a maximum operating speed of Mach 0.85. With an initial cruise altitude of 41,000 feet (12,497 m), the G280 can climb to a maximum altitude of 45,000 feet (13,716 m), where it can avoid air-traffic congestion and adverse weather.