After receiving FAA certification for its ultra-long-range business jet in September, Gulfstream handed over the first fully-outfitted G650 to a U.S. customer last week. The milestone marks the culmination of the company’s flagship jet, first announced in 2008 as an airplane that would up the ante in terms of speed, range and cabin space.
The G650 has delivered on those promises, with Gulfstream recently announcing an increase in the airplane’s high-speed cruise range from the original target of 5,000 nm to 6,000 nm at Mach .90. With a long-range cruise speed of 7,000 miles, the jet is capable of connecting such city pairs as New York and Buenos Aires as well as Dubai and New York. And with its max speed of Mach .925, the G650 is the fastest civilian aircraft in production on the planet.
The G650 program suffered a setback in April 2011, when one of the G650 test aircraft crashed on takeoff, killing all four Gulfstream employees on board. The accident threatened to derail the program’s original certification timeline, but the company made up for lost ground.
Equipped with Gulfstream’s Planeview II cockpit, the G650 is offered with a variety of cabin configurations that can seat up to 18.