Gulfstream Aerospace Corp.’s all-new family of business jets, the Gulfstream G500 and G600, continue to make solid progress toward anticipated U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) type certification this year. The G500 is entering the final stage of its flight test and certification program, while the G600 recently completed company field performance testing.
“Both programs remain on track and are methodically moving toward their respective type certifications,” said Mark Burns, president, Gulfstream. “The five aircraft in each program continue to exceed our expectations. Given the recent announcement about our range increases, this is pretty remarkable, even for Gulfstream.”
To date, the five G500 aircraft have accumulated more than 4,250 flight hours over more than 1,175 flights. The fourth G500 to enter the flight-test program is poised to begin function and reliability testing, which marks the capstone of a flight-test program and serves to demonstrate the overall reliability of the aircraft’s final engineering designs. These FAA-mandated flights total 300 hours and are used to evaluate how the aircraft behaves in conditions representative of normal in-flight operations, including hot, cold and humid environments.
Gulfstream has gone beyond what the FAA requires for certification by flying a fully outfitted production G500 more than 400 hours. The aircraft is currently on a world tour to demonstrate its cutting-edge design to customers and potential customers.
The G600, meanwhile, has amassed more than 1,395 flight hours during more than 360 flights. Next on the aircraft’s schedule is FAA certification testing for flyover noise.
Gulfstream announced performance enhancements for the G500 and G600 in October 2017. The G500 can fly 5,200 nautical miles/9,630 kilometers at Mach 0.85 or 4,400 nm/8,149 km at Mach 0.90, while the G600 can travel 6,500 nm/12,038 km at Mach 0.85 and 5,100 nm/9,445 km at Mach 0.90. The maximum operating speed for both aircraft is Mach 0.925.
Even with these performance enhancements, the G500 customer delivery schedule remains the same, with deliveries set for 2018, as originally promised. G500 certification includes additional testing required for the enhanced performance and is anticipated in early 2018. The G600’s anticipated certification and service entry are slated for 2018.