Gulfstream proved it true that it’s better to under-promise and over-deliver when its two newest products, the super-midsize G280 and uber-long-range G650, arrived in style at EBACE in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday following long nonstop flights from Dulles International in Washington D.C. after the company had made of point of telling reporters the two airplanes were too busy in flight testing to make the trip. Apparently, the flight test department carved out some time for the two new beauties for the trip.
The G650 took 6 hours and 55 minutes to make the trip, cruising at up to Mach .92 at one point, a speed it could have maintained for the entire trip had the pilots not wanted to slow things way down, to Mach .90, for an 1,100-nm portion of the trip. To underscore just how phenomenal an airplane the 650 is, Gulfstream president Larry Flynn pointed out that the trip required less than half of the 650’s maximum endurance, which is in excess of 14 hours. The 650, as we’re reported previously, has earned FAA provisional type certification, allowing Gulfstream to do finishing work on the first customer airplanes. It has flown more than 3,000 hours and around 950 flights. Gulfstream expects full certification for the 650 by midyear and to make first deliveries in the third quarter.
To make the same hop, from Dulles to Geneva, the G280 required just under an hour longer, completing the nonstop hop in 7 hours 47 minutes, flying the trip at Mach .84. The 280 has flown more than 750 hours and has made flights up to 8 hours in duration. Flynn said that his company anticipates certification for the 280 by the middle of this year, with first customer deliveries to follow promptly thereafter. The first 280 is already undergoing completion at Gulfstream’s facility in Dallas, Texas.
Flynn also reported that the company has made great progress with its flight training programs for the 650. The simulators, he said, are ready to go and are awaiting full type certification before FAA pilots and then customers can begin their training in the 650, something that Flynn said he expects to go smoothly despite the quick turnaround between certification and first deliveries.