Gulfstream G500/G600 Programs Track Ahead of Schedule

Flight test programs for new luxury twinjets continue with great success.

Gulfstream G600
The technologically advanced G600 is progressing toward its first test flight.Gulfstream

At a press conference at the National Business Aviation Association’s Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Gulfstream announced its G500 and G600 are on track to enter the market ahead of schedule, a rare feat in the quest for certification of technologically advanced business jets.

With more than 1,750 hours of flight testing on five platforms, the G500 is now on track for FAA certification in the fourth quarter of 2017, and its sister ship, the G600, is expected to follow in 2018, putting the new targets several months ahead of the initial schedule set two years ago when the airplanes were announced.

Referring to the success of the test programs for the two luxury bizjets, Mark Burns, Gulfstream’s president, said: “This is absolutely the program we had planned.” Burns conducted a live video chat during the NBAA press conference with L.D. Buerger, vice president of Gulfstream’s flight test program. Buerger gave an update on the progress of the program standing in front of the first G600 flight test platform, T1, which is expected to take flight soon. The ground vibration testing is complete, and the program is now moving on to other tests such as flutter, instrumentation and limit load testing.

So far, the G500 and G600 programs have accumulated more than 55,000 hours of lab testing, including iron bird testing, systems integration testing and flight deck integration. Buerger said the reliability of the G500, which has achieved speeds as high as Mach 0.995 at FL 530, has been “unbelievable.”

During NBAA-BACE this week, Gulfstream is displaying the first production model of the G500 with a new interior designed for ultimate comfort with newly designed seats, forward and aft lavatories, a full sized galley, satellite communication, high speed internet capabilities and much more. The G500 is parked at the static display area at the Orlando Executive Airport along with a mockup of the G600 and a full offering of Gulfstream’s luxury bizjets.