First Gulfstream G600 Coming Together in Savannah

Program milestones are passing swiftly for newest Gulfstream bizjets as G600 is prepped for first flight and G500 surpasses 800 hours in the air.

Gulfstream 600
Things are moving along on the Gulfstream G600.Gulfstream

Gulfstream has mated the wing and fuselage of the first G600 flight test airplane at its Savannah, Georgia, production center as the company prepares the clean-sheet large-cabin business jet for its first flight later this year. That’s slightly ahead of the original program timeline, which called for the G600’s first flight early next year.

Gulfstream has been making swift progress on both of its new fly-by-wire jets, with the G500 already well into flight testing.

The company's four G500 flight test aircraft have logged more than 800 hours on 195 flights, with test article one (T1) focusing on envelope expansion and T2 on flight loads validation and aircraft performance and systems testing. Aircraft T3 recently completed cold-soak testing and is undergoing wing anti-ice systems testing, Gulfstream says. It is also the testbed for the Symmetry touch-screen flight deck, powered by Honeywell's Primus Epic system. The remaining example, T4, is being used to test avionics, flammable fuel drainage, water ingestion and water/waste, lighting and fire-protection systems.

A fifth and final aircraft, P1, is being outfitted at Gulfstream’s completions center, also in Savannah, and will join the program soon. As the first production aircraft, it will be used for interior and cabin systems testing.

Gulfstream has flown the G500 to a speed of Mach 0.995 and altitude of 53,000 feet. The 5,000 nm-range G500 is scheduled for certification and service entry next year. The G600 will enter service in 2019.