SAVANNAH, Ga. – Gulfstream Aerospace Corp.’s ultra-large-cabin, ultra-long-range Gulfstream G650 business-jet aircraft received a type certificate today from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The certification verifies the airworthiness of the aircraft’s design. Gulfstream expects to deliver the first fully outfitted G650 business jets to customers before year-end. The company has received more than 200 orders for the aircraft.
“The G650 is a superlative aircraft with the most technologically advanced flight deck in business aviation and the largest, most comfortable cabin in its class. In short, the G650 speaks to all that is good about business aviation: safety, security, flexibility, comfort, and capability,” said Larry Flynn, president, Gulfstream. “We designed the G650 with significant input from our Advanced Technology Customer Advisory Team, and we’re extremely proud of what our entire organization has accomplished with this aircraft.”
“The G650 sets the new world standard for business-jet performance, range, speed and comfort,” said Jay L. Johnson, chairman and chief executive officer of Gulfstream’s parent corporation, General Dynamics. “The Gulfstream team has done an outstanding job in designing and manufacturing what is already the envy of the global market and is sure to become a milestone aircraft in aviation history.”
The G650 offers a full three-axis, fly-by-wire system that delivers a number of benefits, including flight-envelope protection, passenger comfort, increased redundancy and reduced maintenance. The system is the result of extensive testing, leading to a redundant fly-by-wire system that exceeds certification requirements. It has a separate and dedicated backup flight-control computer that provides an additional level of safety.
To ensure optimum system performance, the G650 uses PlaneConnectHTM™. This Aircraft Health and Trend Monitoring System provides near-real-time aircraft condition monitoring by recording up to 10,000 predefined parameters, including high priority Crew Advisory System (CAS) events and engine health data. The system transmits that information to the operator’s maintenance department with an optional copy to Gulfstream Technical Operations. Gulfstream can, if necessary, request additional data from the plane without any crew interaction. All of the data can be analyzed to identify systems’ condition status, which allows for exceptionally fast maintenance turnaround times and the ability to predict fleet maintenance trends.
The PlaneView Cockpit
The G650 is equipped with the most advanced flight deck in general aviation, PlaneView II. The cockpit includes four 14-inch, adaptive, liquid crystal displays; three PlaneBook® subscriptions; a standby multi-function controller that combines current display controller functionality with standby flight instruments; automatic descent mode; wide area augmentation system/localizer performance with vertical guidance (WAAS-LPV), future air navigation system (FANS) 1/A; controller-pilot datalink communications (CPDLC); automatic dependent surveillance-contract (ADS-C); and a fully automatic, three-dimensional scanning weather radar with an integral terrain database for efficient ground-clutter elimination.
In addition, the G650 uses state-of-the-art vision systems to improve pilot situational awareness and flight safety. These standard systems include the Gulfstream Enhanced Vision System (EVS II), the Synthetic Vision-Primary Flight Display (SV-PFD) and the Head-Up Display (HUD II).
“Working together with our supplier partners, we’ve been able to provide a level of safety and situational awareness heretofore unseen in business aviation,” said Pres Henne, senior vice president, Programs, Engineering and Test, Gulfstream.
Comfort figures prominently into the G650. The unfinished aircraft cabin measures 102 inches wide and 77 inches high, providing for a longer living area, more seat recline, expanded leg room and increased stateroom capabilities.
The G650’s comfortable and productive cabin environment is the result of a cabin altitude of 4,850 feet at FL510 and 3,300 feet at FL410, which reduces fatigue, increases mental alertness and enhances productivity. The G650’s new 16 cabin windows are the largest in the industry, providing for even more natural light and visually expanding the aircraft’s already spacious interior.
The Gulfstream Cabin Management System serves as the hub of the cabin network. This Gulfstream-designed and -controlled system allows for digital control of the cabin systems, including high-definition audio and video components. The passenger control units are loaded onto an iPod Touch® and provide the floor plan of the aircraft. Intuitive controls are provided for lighting, temperature, entertainment equipment, attendant call and other cabin functions, including the Gulfstream CabinView Passenger Flight Information System.
The cabin adheres to Gulfstream’s Cabin Essential design philosophy. This means the cabin systems (lighting, power, cabin control, cabin entertainment, and the water and waste systems) are designed with redundancy that minimizes the risk of losing cabin functionality.
Gulfstream announced the G650 on March 13, 2008, five years after it began designing the business jet. The announcement, witnessed by more than 7,000 employees, customers and suppliers, took place in the new G650 manufacturing building at Gulfstream’s headquarters in Savannah, Ga.
The G650 rolled out under its own power on Sept. 30, 2009, and flew for the first time nearly two months later, on Nov. 25, 2009.
Over the next 35 months, seven flight-test aircraft were involved in the flight-test program, accumulating more than 3,889 hours over 1,181 flights.
The G650 demonstrated its exceptional high-speed, fuel-efficient cruising capabilities on May 2, 2010, when it flew at its maximum operating Mach number of 0.925 for the first time. It achieved high-speed cruise on October 2010, when a test aircraft flew a 5,000-nautical-mile (9,260 km) closed circuit at Mach 0.90 over the Atlantic Ocean in 9 hours and 45 minutes.
In February 2011, the G650 flew from Burbank to Savannah, a distance of more than 1,900 miles (3,545 km), in just 3 hours and 26 minutes. 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. The trip set a city-pair speed record and was named a most memorable flight for speed over a recognized course by the National Aeronautic Association.
The aircraft received a provisional type certificate from the FAA on Nov. 18, 2011.
The aircraft made its first trans-Atlantic crossing on May 12 en route to the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition in Geneva. The G650 flew 3,780 nautical miles (7,000 km) squawk-free in just 6 hours and 55 minutes, setting a city-pair speed record.
“Receiving this type certificate is a testament to the hard work, dedication and ingenuity of the Gulfstream team and our many supplier partners,” Henne said. “We knew the G650 was going to be an incredible aircraft, and it is.”