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MEBA2012: New Gulfstream jet leaves the Galaxy behind

Posted 13 December 2012 · Add Comment

Gulfstream is energetically promoting the company's new Gulfstream 280, a super mid-size business jet replacement for the Galaxy/Astra-based G200.

Production of the G200 ended on December 19 2011 with the rollout of the 250th and final aircraft.

Gulfstream has delivered the first G280 to an unidentified customer on November 14, and production of the new aircraft is ramping up.

About 12 green G280s are expected to be completed this year and the order backlog is already sufficient to keep the line busy well into 2014.

The new G280 has better performance than was originally expected, according to Trevor Esling, Gulfstream’s regional senior vice president for international sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, who highlighted 200nm greater range and superior take-off performance, thanks to its new high-speed wing design (which is longer and more swept than the G200’s) and HTF7250 engines.

The G280 has a balanced field length requirement of just 4,750ft at maximum take-off weight – 210ft less than was originally predicted.

Gulfstream claims that the G280 will carry four passengers further and quicker than other aircraft in the same class, able to fly 3,600nm at Mach 0.8 – or non-stop from Dubai to Bangkok. The company says the G280 is “the only super-midsize aircraft that can reliably fly non-stop between London and New York”.

The G280 is a derivative of the G200, though it is to all intents and purposes an all-new aircraft, retaining little more than the older aircraft’s fuselage cross-section. The new wing and new T-tail (replacing the anachronistic-looking cruciform tail of the Galaxy) make the aircraft look distinctively different, and very much more modern.

The G200 originated as the Galaxy and was designed by Galaxy Aerospace, then a subsidiary of Israel Aircraft Industries in a risk-sharing partnership with the Soviet aircraft design bureau Yakovlev OKB.

The aircraft combined a new wider fuselage, attached to a strengthened version of the Astra SPX wing with integrated winglets and modified high lift devices. The Galaxy was renamed as the G200 after Gulfstream Aerospace acquired Galaxy Aerospace in June 2001.

Gulfstream began work on a successor in 2005 and officially launched the G250 in 2008. The G250 prototype made its maiden flight on December 11 2009 and the type was renamed as the G280 in July 2011, after it was pointed out that the number 250 had unfavorable connotations in some cultures.

The G280 features a Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion integrated flight deck, with a head-up display, synthetic vision and MultiScan weather radar. The cabin is lengthened by 17 inches, with two more windows on each side and with access to the baggage compartment.

The G280 gained US FAA certification on August 30 this year and EASA certification is expected before the year-end.



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