The Gulfstream G650 recently demonstrated its exceptional high-speed, fuel-efficient cruising capabilities, flying more than 1,900 nautical miles (3,545 km) in just 3 hours and 26 minutes.
The ultra-large-cabin, ultra-long-range G650, Serial Number (S/N) 6004, took off from Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, Calif., at 12:21 p.m. local time on Jan. 12. It arrived at Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport 3 hours and 26 minutes later at 6:47 p.m. local time.
The aircraft accomplished the mission at speeds between Mach 0.91 and 0.92, with a brief segment at the aircraft’s maximum operating Mach number of 0.925. Its average ground speed was more than 550 knots. Its maximum ground speed en route was more than 660 knots.
“These are typical operational Mach numbers customers can expect from this aircraft,” said Pres Henne, senior vice president, Programs, Engineering and Test, Gulfstream. “To say that we are pleased with this real-world operational capability is an understatement.”
The G650 lifted off with a calculated balanced field length of less than 4,500 feet (1,372 m) and climbed at Mach 0.85 to a cruising altitude of 43,000 feet (13,196 m), transitioning to Mach 0.91 or above for the remainder of the flight.
“One key figure here,” said Henne, “is balanced field length, the minimum required runway under the atmospheric conditions. To achieve this kind of performance means that the G650 can go just about anywhere a smaller business jet would routinely go. That is a major benefit to operators.”
S/N 6004 carried 10 crew members, including Henne.
“That was a fantastic flight,” Henne said after landing in Savannah. “You can definitely sense the size. The increased spaciousness of the G650 cabin will be extremely well-received by our customers. The introduction of an interior into one of our initial flight-test aircraft is allowing a thorough evaluation of the cabin well before entry into service. This mission and others have allowed evaluations of the cabin pressurization system, the cabin temperature control system, the cabin seating arrangements, the extensive cabin communications and entertainment equipment along with the iPod touch®-controlled features of the cabin.”
The G650 has a maximum range of 7,000 nautical miles (12,500 km) at Mach 0.85, enabling longer intercontinental flights in less time than current ultra-long-range business jets.
S/N 6004 is one of five aircraft currently flying as part of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification plan. The five aircraft have accumulated more than 1,200 hours of flight and are on track for certification in 2011, with entry into service in 2012.
“The recent missions on S/N 6004 and the completion of other significant milestones continue to demonstrate that our G650 product development team, including our worldwide supply chain, is working well together as the G650 program heads toward certification,” Henne said. “We are very pleased with both the progress of our program and the performance of our aircraft.”