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MEBA2012: World tour planned for 'near sonic' cruiser

Posted 13 December 2012 · Add Comment

Though Gulfstream did not send an example of its flagship G650 to MEBA, Trevor Esling, Gulfstream's regional senior vice president for international sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, revealed that the aircraft would begin a world tour from February and predicted that the Middle East would see its first G650 delivery within 12 months.

The G650 is Gulfstream’s largest and most expensive business jet, and the company claims that it will fly faster, farther, and more comfortably than any other business aircraft in its class.

The G650 is capable of reaching Mach 0.925 – closer to the speed of sound than any other business jet. The aircraft will carry its crew of four and eight passengers on non-stop legs of 7,000nm at Mach 0.85, allowing direct flights from Dubai to New York. At Mach 0.9 the aircraft can fly 6,000nm non-stop (Dubai to Cape Town), saving one hour compared to other business jets.

The aircraft has excellent take-off and landing performance and, with a balanced field length requirement of just 5,858ft, the G650 will be able to operate from smaller airports.

“It makes the world a smaller place,” Esling said.

Gulfstream claims that the G650 is the widest purpose-built business jet, with the longest, widest, tallest and most comfortable cabin in its class, as well as the largest cabin windows and lowest cabin altitude. To achieve this, Gulfstream used a ‘squashed oval’ cross-section, which is wider than it is tall, and with a flatter lower portion.

Innovation continues in the Planeview II cockpit, which features a head-up display, an enhanced vision system and a synthetic vision-primary flight display (SV-PFD), as well as 3-D weather radar. The aircraft also incorporates advanced fully fly-by-wire flight controls.

The wing incorporates greater sweep than previous Gulfstream aircraft and eschews the use of leading-edge high-lift devices.

The G650 was launched as an internal company project in May 2005 and was publicly unveiled in March 2008. The prototype was rolled out on September 29 2009 and made its maiden flight on November 25 the same year.

Gulfstream announced that flight-testing in support of the maximum operating speed of Mach 0.925 had been completed on May 4 2010, later reporting that the aircraft had reached a maximum speed of Mach 0.995 during a dive.

The G650 was awarded its FAA type certificate on September 7 and EASA certification is expected before the year-end.

Gulfstream has completed the first three pilot training classes and 46 pilots have now been trained. Customer deliveries are expected before year-end.



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