Gulfstream G500, G600 Programs Make Progress

Initial flight test shows impressive numbers.

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. recently announced details on the progress of the test program for its G500 and G600 family of business jets, which are expected to hit the market in 2018 and 2019 respectively. The G500 took to the skies for the first time on May 18. Since then, company test pilots have completed five test flights totaling 15 hours of flight time. The longest flight was four hours, and the G500 has reached a maximum altitude of 38,500 feet and shown a top speed of Mach 0.80. The targeted max operating speed for both the G500 and its sibling, the G600, is Mach 0.95.

“The first five flights exceeded our expectations, and they demonstrated that our testing facilities on the ground are having very real benefits in the air, allowing us to identify and address issues before they’re ever seen in flight,” said Dan Nale, senior vice president of programs, engineering and test.

The G500 is being developed concurrently with the G600, both of which were announced on October 14, 2014. More than 36,000 hours of lab testing for the two airplanes have already been conducted.

Gulfstream has started producing the first test bed for the G600. The G500 test airplane is now undergoing some modifications and will return to flight later this month, Gulfstream said.

One large obstacle that often delays airplane programs is the certification of the engines. However, this won’t be the case for Gulfstream’s new bizjets. Both the Pratt & Whitney PW814GA, which powers the G500, and PW815GA, which will mount to the G600, have already been certified.

Check out the first unveiling of the G500 and G600 here.

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