Gulfstream Aerospace Corp.’s Gulfstream G500 and G600 test programs continue to stride toward anticipated Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification in 2017 and 2018, respectively. The four G500 test aircraft have exceeded 1,000 hours of test time, and production of the G600 test articles is well underway.
“The G500 made its first flight nearly one year ago, and we have spent the 12 months since then expanding the test fleet and reaching the goals we established early on,” said Mark Burns, president, Gulfstream. “At the same time, we have made significant progress in manufacturing the five G600 test articles. Thanks to the extensive ground work in Gulfstream’s state-of-the-art test labs, these aircraft programs are maturing at a consistent pace.”
To date, the G500 test fleet, which includes four flight-test aircraft (T1-T4), has flown more than 240 flights, surpassing 1,000 flight hours. The fifth test aircraft, P1, is at the Savannah Completions center, where it is receiving an interior that will be used to test the cabin elements in flight.
T1 has flown more than 500 hours and reached a maximum speed of Mach 0.995 and a maximum altitude of 53,000 feet/16,154 meters. T2 has completed loads development testing and commenced climb performance testing.
The third test article, T3, recently conducted flyover noise testing to demonstrate that the G500 complies with established aircraft noise regulations. The aircraft performed a variety of simulated takeoffs and approaches as low as 400 ft/122 m, while a ground team collected data. T4 has begun testing the updated avionics system.
On the production side, the G600 is making steady progress. Following the first test aircraft’s wing join last month, the empennage has been mated to the aircraft’s fuselage. In addition, the wings for the structural test article were moved to the G600 production facility, and that wing join has been completed.
“The flight-test crew and all Gulfstream employees involved in this program are keeping the G500 and G600 on track to enter into service with industry-leading safety, performance and comfort,” said Burns.
The G500 can fly 5,000 nautical miles/9,260 kilometers at Mach 0.85 or 3,800 nm/7,038 km at Mach 0.90, while the G600 can carry passengers 6,200 nm/11,482 km at Mach 0.85 and 4,800 nm/8,890 km at Mach 0.90. The maximum operating speed for both aircraft is Mach 0.925, the same maximum speed as the Gulfstream G650 and G650ER.
Both aircraft feature Gulfstream’s revolutionary new Symmetry Flight Deck™, which incorporates active control sidesticks, integrated touchscreen panels, a next-generation enhanced vision system (EVS III) and Honeywell Primus Epic avionics.
The cabins for the G500 and G600 are optimized for safety, comfort and reliability. The aircraft can carry up to 19 passengers, have forward and aft lavatories and include a full-size galley that can be located in either the forward or aft portion of the aircraft. The G500 and G600 feature an industry-leading cabin altitude of 4,850 ft/1,478 m at FL510 and 100 percent fresh air that circulates every two minutes.
The G500 is slated to receive type certification in 2017 and deliver in 2018. The G600 is projected to enter service in 2019.