Gulfstream Aerospace, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), has rolled out its new flagship business jet, the all-new Gulfstream G650, at company headquarters in Savannah. The aircraft rolled out under its own power. First announced in March 2008, the ultra-large-cabin, ultra-long-range G650 remains on schedule for customer deliveries in 2012.
Approximately 7,000 people gathered at the new G650 manufacturing building for the aircraft’s debut. The audience included state and local dignitaries, customers, certifying authorities, supplier representatives, members of the G650 development team and many other employees at the Savannah facility.
“We’ve all been looking forward to this day since we officially announced the G650 program last year,” said Joe Lombardo, executive vice president, General Dynamics Aerospace group. “Simply put, the Gulfstream G650 is in a class by itself. I want to thank everyone who made this aircraft possible. I share the tremendous amount of pride you have for this significant piece of aviation history. Like you, I am eagerly awaiting the first flight later this year.”
The G650 offers the longest range, fastest speed, largest cabin and the most advanced cockpit in the Gulfstream fleet. It features an all-new fuselage cross section, allowing a wider and taller cabin than the previous top-of-the-line G550 model. The G650 is capable of traveling 7,000 nautical miles at 0.85 Mach and has a maximum operating speed of 0.925, which will make it the fastest civil aircraft flying. It can climb to an altitude of 51,000 feet, which allows it to avoid traffic and inclement weather.
“Our customers had an instrumental role in the design of the G650,” said Pres Henne, senior vice president, Programs, Engineering and Test, Gulfstream. “The G650 will set new levels of performance in aircraft capability, cabin environment and maintainability. Customer input was used to guide fuselage size selection as well as aircraft performance characteristics. The G650 offers unprecedented speed and range, superb takeoff performance, an all-new Gulfstream wing, best-in-class Rolls-Royce BR725 engines, and top-of-the-line aesthetics. It provides the most technologically advanced flight deck in business aviation with the PlaneViewTM II cockpit and an advanced aircraft health and trend monitoring system to support aircraft maintenance planning and improve availability.
“Along with traditional measures of aircraft performance, significant effort has been spent in ensuring the cabin will be in a class by itself. The Gulfstream Cabin EssentialTM systems include redundant fiber optic and wireless technologies, along with the latest innovations in lighting, seating, acoustics and cabin systems to provide the most productive cabin environment in business aviation. Three-dimensional electronic design tools were used to design the entire aircraft, facilitating remarkable part precision, allowing ease of assembly and proper placement of components for ease of maintenance and shorter downtimes. The up-front, detailed engineering effort and its end result are a real tribute to the engineering and manufacturing teams.”
The G650 features a cabin that measures 102 inches wide and 77 inches high, the largest purpose-built cabin in business aviation. The extra space allows for larger galleys and lavatories, and increased storage. The aircraft, which seats 11-18 passengers, also features 16 panoramic windows that measure 28 by 20.5 inches, the largest in the industry; improved sound levels; a vacuum toilet system; and in-flight access to 195 cubic feet of usable volume in the baggage compartment.
Gulfstream announced the G650 on March 13, 2008, in Savannah. The aircraft is on schedule for first flight later this year and is expected to be certified in 2011. Entry-into-service is planned for 2012.