Second Gulfstream G650 Enters Flight-test Program
The second Gulfstream G650–known as test article two, or T2 for short–completed its maiden flight from Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport in Savannah, Ga., at 12:50 p.m. last Thursday. T2 was piloted by senior Gulfstream experimental test pilots Gary Freeman and Scott Buethe, who took the second wide-cabin, ultra-long-range G650 on a two-hour and 33 minute initial jaunt from Gulfstream’s Savannah headquarters. They reached an altitude of 37,000 feet and a speed of Mach 0.80 before returning T2 to Savannah. In a company first, both G650 flight-test aircraft–T1 and T2–were airborne simultaneously and tracked by dual telemetry facilities in real time. “T2 performed extremely well during the initial tests of its integrated flight control system and handling,” said Gulfstream senior vice president of programs, engineering and test Pres Henne. The G650 flight-test and certification plan will involve five aircraft and about 1,800 hours of testing, culminating in FAA and EASA certification this year. As of late last week, T1 completed 18 flights, logging more than 43 hours, and reached a maximum speed of Mach 0.90 and a top altitude of 47,000 feet.