Gulfstream G600 Takes Flight

The first flight of the G600 spanned 2 hours and 53 minutes. The test flight crew climbed to 35,000 feet and reached a top speed of Mach 0.75. Gulfstream

Gulfstream is known for being on top of its development schedule, and this time the company has broken the targeted deadline for the first flight of the technologically advanced G600, announced last year concurrently with the shorter G500, an airplane well on its way to certification by the end of next year.

The G600 was not expected to fly until sometime next year. But it took off on Saturday from the Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport in Georgia, where Gulfstream is headquartered. This was the type of first flight that could only be pulled off by a company with a top-notch development program. The flight spanned 2 hours and 53 minutes, in which the test flight crew climbed to 35,000 feet and reached a top speed of Mach 0.75.

How is it possible to accomplish that much the very first time a long-range business jet leaves the tarmac? “This flight went exactly as anticipated, thanks in large part to the investments we have made in our ground-based laboratories,” said Mark Burns.

Two additional G600 test platforms have been delivered to the flight test department, and Gulfstream is well on its way to achieving certification for the luxury bizjet in 2018, a target that was pushed forward in November as Gulfstream announced its G500/G600 programs were tracking ahead of schedule.

Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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