Gulfstream G650

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G650
N305CCatSYD.jpeg
Role Business jet
National origin United States
Manufacturer Gulfstream Aerospace
First flight November 25, 2009
Status In service
Produced 2008–present
Number built 25+
Unit cost
US$64.5 million (2013)[1]

The Gulfstream G650 is a twin-engine business jet airplane produced by Gulfstream Aerospace.[2] The model is designated Gulfstream GVI in its type certificate.[3] Gulfstream began the G650 program in 2005 and revealed it to the public in 2008. The G650 is the company's largest and fastest business jet with a top speed of Mach 0.925.

Design and development[edit]

Unpainted G650 used as company demonstrator
G650 at the Paris Air Show

The Gulfstream G650 was formally launched as an internal company project in May 2005, and publicly unveiled on March 13, 2008. At the public announcement occasion, company executives stated the new model would become Gulfstream's largest, fastest and most expensive business jet on entry to the market.[4]

The G650 has a cruise speed of Mach 0.85 to 0.90, with maximum speed of Mach 0.925 and a range of up to 7,000 nmi (13,000 km). It can be equipped with a full kitchen and bar and may be equipped with a variety of entertainment features including satellite phones and wireless Internet. The jet uses two Rolls-Royce BR725 engines, each producing a maximum thrust of 17,000 pounds-force (75.6 kN).[5] Gulfstream states that with a weight of less than 100,000 pounds (45,360 kg), it is able to land at small airports avoiding the busy airports around the world.

To provide better usage of the internal volume, Gulfstream designers rejected the usual circular fuselage cross-section in favor of an oval which uses a flatter lower portion.[6] The cabin is 8 feet 6 inches (2.59 m) wide and 6 feet 5 inches (1.96 m) high.[7] The fuselage is of metal construction and composite construction is used for empennage, winglets, rear pressure bulkhead, engine cowlings, cabin floor structure and many fairings. The eight oval cabin windows on each side of the fuselage are 28 inches (71 cm) wide.

The wing uses greater sweep (36 degrees) than previous Gulfstream aircraft (for example, the G550 wing has 27 degrees of sweep). It does not use leading-edge high-lift devices, and tracks for rear-mounted flaps are completely enclosed within the airfoil contour. The wing's leading edge is a continuously-changing curve, and the airfoil varies continuously from root to tip (the tip incorporates winglets).

The aircraft controls are completely fly-by-wire, with no mechanical control between pilot and flight surfaces. The surfaces are moved by dual hydraulic systems. More airliners today are using fly-by-wire, but only one other current business jet (the Dassault Falcon 7X) is so equipped. The G650 shares its yokes and column with the G550 in an effort to receive a common type rating.[8]

The wing design was completed in 2006. A total of 1,400 hours of wind tunnel testing was completed by 2008. A pressure-test fuselage was built and tested, including an ultimate-pressure test of 18.37 psi.[9]

The G650 taxied under its own power for the first time on September 26, 2009.[10] A public rollout ceremony was later held on September 29, 2009.[11] The G650 had its maiden flight on November 25, 2009.[12]

Flight testing for the maximum operating speed of Mach 0.925 was announced as completed on May 4, 2010.[13] Gulfstream reported on August 26, 2010 that the G650 hit a maximum speed of Mach 0.995 during a dive as part of its 1,800-hour flight test program.[14] In April 2011, a G650 crashed during flight testing. The G650 test aircraft were grounded until May 28, 2011, when the remaining test aircraft were allowed to return to flight testing.[15]

On September 7, 2012, the G650 received its type certificate from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).[16][17] Its first delivery was to an American customer named Preston Henn[18] on December 27, 2012.[19]

The G650 has a normal list price of $64.5 million for 2013,[1] but there is a three-year waiting list. Aircraft delivering in 2013 have sold for more than $70 million to buyers that wanted to take immediate delivery.[20]

Incidents and accidents[edit]

The test aircraft a few weeks before the accident

On April 2, 2011, the second G650 test aircraft crashed during takeoff from the Roswell International Air Center, New Mexico, killing the four Gulfstream employees on board (two pilots and two test engineers). The aircraft was conducting a takeoff-performance test during which an engine failure was simulated by reducing the right engine's thrust to idle.[21] The G650 became airborne briefly at a high angle of attack before its right wingtip hit the runway, then slid on the ground and caught fire.[22]

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined the probable cause of the crash was an aerodynamic stall of the aircraft due to a failure to properly develop and validate takeoff speeds, persistent and increasingly aggressive attempts to achieve a V2 speed that was too low. It found that Gulfstream's investigation of the two previous uncommanded roll events was inadequate. Following the crash, Gulfstream raised the V2 speed of the G650.[21] The NTSB accused Gulfstream of withholding information and the use of legal counsel during the investigation, which were denied by the company.[23]

Specifications (G650)[edit]

G650 cockpit

Data from Gulfstream data,[2][7][24] Flightglobal cabin details[6]

General characteristics

Performance

  • Maximum speed: Mach 0.925 (530 kn, 610 mph, 982 km/h) Fast cruise
  • Cruise speed: Long range cruise: Mach 0.85 (488 kn, 562 mph, 904 km/h) Normal cruise: Mach 0.90 (516 kn, 595 mph, 956 km/h)
  • Range: Long range cruise: 7,000 nautical miles (8,050 mi, 12,960 km)Fast cruise: 6,000 nmi (6,906 mi, 11,112 km)
  • Service ceiling: 51,000 ft (15,500 m)
  • Wing loading: 77.7 lb/ft² (3.72 kPa)
  • Cabin pressurization: 10.7 psi (73.8 kPa)

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Whyte, Alasdair. "Speculating on business jets". Corporate Jet Investor, November 18, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Gulfstream Introduces the All-New Gulfstream G650". Gulfstream, March 13, 2008.
  3. ^ FAA Type Certificate No. T00015AT, Revision 4; Gulfstream GVI retrieved October 22, 2013
  4. ^ New Gulfstream, Flying Magazine, Vol. 135., No. 5, May 2008, p. 52.
  5. ^ "Rolls-Royce presents BR725 engine to power new Gulfstream G650", Rolls-Royce, 13 March 2008.
  6. ^ a b Warwick, Graham. "Gulfstream G650 - in the cabin". Flightglobal.com, 13 March 2008.
  7. ^ a b Gulfstream G650 Specifications page. Gulfstream
  8. ^ Warwick, Graham. "Gulfstream G650 - in the cockpit". Flightglobal.com, March 13, 2008.
  9. ^ Flying May 2008, p. 56.
  10. ^ "Photo Exclusive: The Gulfstream G650". The Enterprise Report.com, September 27, 2009.
  11. ^ Larson, George. "Gulfstream G650 Rolls Out". Aviation Week, September 29, 2009.
  12. ^ PICTURES: G650 takes to the skies
  13. ^ Alton K. Marsh.Gulfstream G650 reaches near speed of sound. AOPA Online, 4 May 2010 (accessed May 9, 2010)
  14. ^ "Gulfstream G650 Reaches Mach 0.995". Gulfstream.com, August 26, 2010.
  15. ^ "Investigators seek clues in G650 Crash".
  16. ^ Mayle, Mary Carr. "Gulfstream G650 gets FAA certification" Savannah Morning News, 8 September 2012. Retrieved: 8 September 2012.
  17. ^ Brown, Sarah. "'Ultra-ultra' G650 gets type certificate" Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, 7 September 2012. Retrieved: 8 September 2012.
  18. ^ "'Redneck' speed freak buys super-fast jet". CNN. Retrieved 27 December 2012. 
  19. ^ "First G650 Delivered". Retrieved 27 December 2012. 
  20. ^ Whyte, Alasdair. "Second G650 trades". Corporate Jet Investor, November 22, 2013.
  21. ^ a b "Crash During Experimental Test Flight, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation GVI (G650), N652GD, Roswell, New Mexico, April 2, 2011". U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, October 10, 2012.
  22. ^ Ostrower, Jon. "G650 was at high angle of attack prior to accident". Flight International, April 6, 2011.
  23. ^ Croft, John. "Two wing-drop incidents preceded G650 crash – NTSB". Flight International, May 11, 2012.
  24. ^ Gulfstream G650 Product Specifications. Gulfstream

External links[edit]