|Gulfstream G500/G550 |
|A Netjets Europe G550 business jet on final approach|
|National origin||United States|
|Primary users||United States Air Force|
United States Navy
Israeli Air Force
|Number built||550+ as of Aug 2017|
|Developed from||Gulfstream V|
The Gulfstream G550 is a business jet aircraft produced by General Dynamics' Gulfstream Aerospace unit in Savannah, Georgia, US. The certification designation is GV-SP. There were 450 Gulfstream G550s in active service as of January 2016. A version with reduced fuel capacity was marketed as the G500.
The G550 (GV-SP) with improved engines received its FAA type certificate on August 14, 2003. In 2014, Gulfstream looked at a re-engine with the Rolls-Royce Pearl BR700 development announced in May 2018 for the new Global Express 5500 and 6500 variants but preferred the BR725-powered, 7,500 nmi G650. The 500th Gulfstream G550 aircraft was delivered in May 2015.
As it is replaced by the $54.5 million Gulfstream G600 with a lower 6,200 nmi range but with a better cabin and cockpit, faster long range cruise and lower fuel burn, it could leave production in 2019. Deliveries went from 50 aircraft in 2011 to 19 in 2016 and with 40 units for sale in a fleet of 540, its valuation are falling: a 10-year-old G550 valued $28 million a year before is worth $18-$20 million in January 2017, while a two-year-old went from $40 to $35 million. In May 2017, early 2003 G550s are valued $14 million against more than $45 million new, flying an average of 425 h per year. In December 2018, a 2012-2013 G550 is valued $28-31 million, and it costs $7,135 per hour for 400 hours a year.
Compared to the Gulfstream V, drag reduction details boost range by 250 nmi (460 km) and increase fuel efficiency. MTOW is increased by 500 lb and takeoff performance is enhanced. A seventh pair of windows is added and the entry door is moved 2 ft. forward to increase usable cabin length. The PlaneView flight deck features cursor control devices, Honeywell Primus Epic avionics, standard head-up guidance system by Rockwell Collins and enhanced vision system by Elbit, improving situational awareness in reduced visibility conditions.
Initial long-range cruise altitude is FL 400-410, first hour fuel burn is 4,500-5,000 lb decreasing to 3,000 lb for the second hour and 2,400 lb for the last hour. Flight hourly budget is $700-950 for engine reserves, $250 for parts and 2.5 maintenance hours. It competes against the Bombardier Global 6000, which has higher direct operating costs and less range but a more spacious cross section, and the Dassault Falcon 7X with fly-by-wire flight controls, better fuel efficiency and a wider but shorter cabin.
- The same as the Gulfstream V or GV with a new flightdeck display system, airframe aerodynamic and engine improvements, main entry door moved forward, also marketed as the G-550.
- The Gulfstream G500 has a reduced fuel capacity. Introduced in 2004 as a shorter 5,800 nautical miles (10,700 km) range version, it has the same exterior appearance, as well as the PlaneView cockpit, but Visual Guidance System (HUD) and Enhanced Vision System (EVS) are options.
- Marketing name for the GV-SP.
- U.S. military designation for the G550 in a VIP passenger configuration.
- U.S. military designation for proposed G550 version in an Electronic Warfare configuration to replace USAF's existing EC-130H Compass Call aircraft.
- U.S. military designation for proposed G550 with the "Conformal AEW" body shape for use as range telemetry aircraft for U.S. Navy.
- MC-55A Peregrine
- Royal Australian Air Force designation for SIGINT and ELINT intelligence gathering.
- G550 Airborne Early Warning
- Israel has acquired a number of G550s, fitted with the IAI EL/W-2085 sensor package (a newer derivative of the Phalcon system) for Airborne Early Warning (AEW) use and named the aircraft Eitam. This aircraft is heavily modified for the AEW role by Gulfstream's partner, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), and is also called CAEW (Conformal Airborne Early Warning) by Gulfstream Special Missions Department. Israel has also acquired a number of G550s dubbed SEMA (Special Electronic Missions Aircraft) with systems integration also carried out by IAI. Italy has acquired 2 G550 CAEW as part of a counter-deal to Israel's $1 billion order for 30 Alenia Aermacchi M-346 advanced jet trainers. Singapore ordered four similar G550 CAEW aircraft equipped with the EL/W-2085 sensor package from Gulfstream and IAI.
- Air-to-air refueling variant: Israel Aerospace Industries has studied adapting the G550 for air-to-air refueling use.
The aircraft is operated by private individuals, companies and executive charter operators. A number of companies also use the aircraft as part of fractional ownership programs.
Government and military operators
- In late 2015 the RAAF ordered two Gulfstream G550 aircraft to be delivered by 30 November 2017. The aircraft will be used for SIGINT and ELINT intelligence gathering. It is reported that the aircraft will possibly form the replacement for the electronic intelligence-gathering role performed by two of the RAAF's AP-3 Orions. In June 2017, the sale was approved and the United States confirmed that Australia was interested in purchasing up to five airframes, to be delivered in two tranches from the early 2020s. In March 2019, the Minister for Defence and Minister for Defence Industry in a joint statement announced the procurement of four modified Gulfstream G550 aircraft for use in electronic warfare missions. The aircraft, to be designated MC-55A Peregrine in Australian service, are to be modified in the U.S. and delivered to RAAF Base Edinburgh in a deal worth US$ 1.7 billion.
- German Aerospace Center (DLR) - 1 G550 special mission aircraft. The aircraft is dubbed HALO (High Altitude and Long Range Research Aircraft). The aircraft's primary objective is to explore the atmosphere and its carbon cycle. Its unique configuration allows a flying altitude of more than 15 kilometers (49,500 feet), a range of more than 8,000 kilometers, and a load capacity of three tons.
- Israeli Air Force - 2 Eitam CAEW (Conformal Airborne Early Warning) and 3 Shavit SEMA (Special Electronic Missions Aircraft) aircraft
- Italian Air Force - 2 G550 CAEWs as part of a counter-deal to Israel's $1 billion order for 30 Alenia Aermacchi M-346 advanced jet trainers. Both aircraft delivered and in service as of January 2018.
- Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) - four G550s with the IAI/ELTA EL/W-2085 active electronically scanned array (AESA) active phased array radar for CAEW duties from Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). These were delivered in late 2008 and were expected to be fully operational by late 2010. An additional G550 for use as an AEW trainer was to be acquired and maintained by ST Aerospace for the RSAF.
- Swedish Air Force - one G550, designated TP 102D It along with a G-IV designated TP 102A, and a G-IV SP, designated TP 102C, serve as transports for the Royal Family and the Prime Minister.
- Government of Uganda - one G550 in use for Presidential flights since February 2009. It replaced a Gulfstream IV-SP that had been in service since 2000.
- United States Air Force – one specially equipped C-37B used as VIP transport including the President
- United States Navy – three C-37Bs in service as VIP transports
- United States Army – one C-37B in use since 2005 as VIP transport.
Data from G550 Brochure
- Crew: 2 pilots, 0–2 attendants
- Capacity: 14–19 passengers
- Length: 96 ft 5 in (29.4 m)
- Wingspan: 93 ft 6 in (28.5 m)
- Height: 25 ft 10 in (7.9 m)
- Empty weight: 48,300 lb (21,909 kg)
- Useful load: 6,200 lb (2,812 kg)
- Loaded weight: 54,500 lb (24,721 kg)
- Max. takeoff weight: 91,000 lb (41,277 kg)
- Maximum landing weight: 75,300 lb (34,156 kg)
- Maximum fuel weight: 41,300 lb (18,733 kg)
- Cabin dimensions: height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m), width: 7 ft 4 in (2.24 m), Length (exc. baggage) 43 ft 11 in (13.39 m), total length 50 ft 1 in (15.27 m)
- Volume: Cabin: 1,669 ft³ (47.26 m³), usable baggage compartment : 170 ft³ (4.81 m³)
- Cabin pressurization: 6,000 feet (1,800 m) altitude.
- Powerplant: 2 × Rolls-Royce BR710 C4-11 high-ratio bypass turbofan, 15,385 lbf (68.44 kN) each
- Never exceed speed: Mach 0.885 (508 kn)
- Maximum speed: Mach 0.85 (488 kn)
- Cruise speed: Mach 0.8 (459 kn)
- Range: 6,750 nmi (12,501 km)
- Service ceiling: 51,000 ft (15,545 m)
- Takeoff distance: 5,910 ft (1,801 m)
- Landing distance: 2,770 ft (844 m)
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Airbus Corporate Jets
- Boeing Business Jet
- Bombardier Global Express
- Dassault Falcon 7X
- Dassault Falcon 8X
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- "new research aircraft HALO successfully completed" (Press release). Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt. 6 December 2007.
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- "UK aid cash helped African dictator buy himself a £30m jet". The Daily Mail. 10 June 2011.
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