One encouraging sign during the collective slowdown of the aviation industry in the second quarter of 2020: OEMs continue aircraft development programs—and that includes Gulfstream’s pursuit of the G700 certification. The company announced in early May that the second and third aircraft within the G700 program are now undergoing flight test. The second test platform flew on March 20, and the third took its first flight from Savannah, Georgia, on May 8.
The second test aircraft, on the March 20 flight, departed Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport and spent 2 hours and 58 minutes airborne, reaching an altitude of 45,000 ft msl and a speed of Mach 0.85. On May 8, the third test aircraft left KSAV and flew for 3 hours, 2 minutes, achieving the same altitude and speed marks as its sister ship.
The three flight-test aircraft have flown more than 100 hours since the program’s first flight on February 14. Overall, the G700 has reached a maximum altitude of 54,000 ft and a maximum speed of Mach 0.94. The current flight-test fleet is used for envelope expansion, flutter testing, flying qualities and flight control, as well as mechanical systems, flights into known icing and environmental control systems.
Gulfstream also announced it had received EASA type certification on the G600 on May 11, enabling deliveries to begin for its European customers.