Home' Asian Aviation : AAV May 2011 Contents Gulfstream's G650 has shown that it can o er a high-
speed Mach 0.9 cruise range of 5,000 nautical miles, and
Bombardier hopes to beat that. e Global 7000 and
8000 will be able to y 5,100 nautical miles and 5,650
nautical miles, respectively, at Mach 0.9.
This performance comes with a hefty price tag,
however, with the 7000 and 8000 selling for about
US$65 million at 2010 prices, compared with the
US$58.5 million cost of the G650.
As of early April, when Gulfstream was forced to call a
halt to G650 ights because of the crash at Roswell, New
Mexico, the eet of ve test aircra had accumulated
more than 1,570 ight-test hours as the company strove
for US and European certi cation during 2011, with
deliveries scheduled to begin in 2012.
e G650 is Savannah-based Gulfstream's rst clean-
sheet aircra design since the early 1960s, when it
developed the Gulfstream II business jet. e company
announced the project in March 2008, saying that the
aircra 's ultra-large cabin and long-range would set a
new standard of price-versus performance for business
" e G650 o ers the longest range, fastest speed,
largest cabin and the most advanced cockpit in the
Gulfstream eet," the manufacturer says.
At Mach 0.85, the jet is capable of travelling 7,000
nautical miles, but its maximum operating speed is
Mach 0.925, making it the fastest civil aircra ying ,
marginally beating the Cessna Citation X's top speed
of Mach 0.92. By comparison, Gulfstream's current
agship G550 can y a distance of 6,744 nautical miles
at its cruise speed of Mach 0.8.
e G650 can also climb to an altitude of 51,000
feet, allowing it to avoid tra c congestion and adverse
The jet was designed with significant input from
customers in the manufacturer's Advanced Technology
Customer Advisory Team (ATCAT), comprising 75
Gulfstream owners from the 70 countries where the
company's aircra are operated. e team came up with
design criteria including a wider cabin than the G550,
longer range and a higher cruise speed, with the same
take-o distance and maximum operating altitude.
Cabin comfort was a key design consideration. e
un nished cabin is 8.5 wide and 6.4 high, o ering
the largest cabin cross-section of any current business jet.
A 7 -wide oor o ers space for bigger seats, wider aisles
and the ability to seat three across.
e cabin is pressurised to an altitude of 4,850
when the aircra is ying at 51,000 , and 2,800 when
ying at 41,000 , reducing passenger fatigue, increasing
alertness and boosting productivity. It also o ers reduced
noise levels to provide a more relaxing environment,
with quieter air distribution and independently vented
Apart from Bombardier's latest proposals, the G650's
cabin windows are the largest in the industry, at 28
inches by 20.5 inches, o ering more natural light and
giving travellers the feeling of more space in the cabin.
e G650 cockpit has the same basic layout as the
G550. As a result, Gulfstream says the aircra should be
able to be own on a common type rating with the GV
and the company's other large-cabin business jets, with
minimal di erences in training.
The new aircraft will feature Gulfstream's latest
PlaneView II cockpit, derived from Honeywell's Primus
Epic avionics platform. e ight deck features: four,
14-inch, adaptive liquid crystal displays; three standard
PlaneBook computer tablets; a standby multifunction
controller that combines current display controller
functions with standby ight instruments; and a fully
automatic, three-dimensional scanning weather radar
with an integral terrain database for e cient ground-
e G650 is to be exclusively powered by Rolls-
Royce's new BR725 engine, generating 16,100lb of
thrust at take-o , or about 4.6 percent more than the
BR710 engine that powers the G550. e turbofan is
a variant of the BR710 manufactured by Rolls-Royce
in Germany, and features a larger, 50-inch swept fan
with 24 blades for improved ow, increased e ciency,
reduced noise and lower emissions.
e airframe manufacturer estimates the G650 will burn
about 7,257kg of fuel on a 3,000 nautical mile ight.
at is about 910kg less than the G550 and about
1,360kg less than Bombardier's Global Express XRS.
It remains unclear how Gulfstream's certi cation
and delivery schedule for the G650 may be a ected by
the 2 April crash, which killed two pilots and two test
engineers on board the aircra .
e accident happened during take-o performance
tests at Roswell, New Mexico, when aircraft serial
number 6002 had already completed about 2.5 hours
of testing , including brake checks. As the jet became
airborne at about 9:30am local time, its right wingtip
dropped and touched the runway.
e aircra then descended, its landing gear collapsing
on impact with the ground, skidded and caught re,
coming to rest upright about 200 from the control
tower. Fire ghters took 15 minutes to extinguish the
Accidents like these are more shocking because
they are so rare, and there is no reason not to think
G650 development will continue once a cause has
been established. Gulfstream's h G650 test aircra
completed its maiden ight on 24 January, reaching a
maximum altitude of 51,000 and a test-point top speed
of Mach 0.94 -- 1.6 percent above the aircra 's normal
maximum cruising speed.
With Bombardier predicting demand for 2,200 large-
category business jets between 2010 and 2029, there is
certainly su cient demand for such products, and if
Gulfstream can bring its new agship aircra to market
as planned in 2012, it will have a four-year head start over
Bombardier's latest Global models.
"The G650 offers the longest range, fastest speed, largest cabin
and the most advanced cockpit in the Gulfstream fleet."
Bombardier has designed the Global 7000
with an emphasis on cabin space, while
the 8000 offers more range.
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