G650 On Final Approach for Provisional Certification
Gulfstream Aerospace expects to receive provisional type certification (PTC) of its wide-cabin G650 this year–possibly by the end of this month–followed by issuance of the full type certificate early next year. Deliveries will begin in the second quarter of 2012 “as we said years ago,” said Gulfstream president Larry Flynn. “Provisional type certification allows us to begin inducting G650s into final-phase completions and stay on track for customer deliveries in the second quarter of 2012,” Scott Neal, Gulfstream senior vice president of sales and marketing, told AIN. Provisional certification also allows Gulfstream to maintain a commitment to deliver 10 to 12 green G650s this year. To date, five production G650s have flown and are now in the completions process. Provisional certification is not new to the business aviation world–over the past decade, the Hawker 4000, Cessna Citation Sovereign, Gulfstream G550 and Eclipse 500 all first received PTC. Neal maintains that the crash of a flight-test G650 in April was not a factor in the decision to seek provisional certification, saying it “was envisioned early in the program as a possible tool for maintaining schedule.” G650 systems that need final tweaking for full certification are avionics software-related, including the FMS, autopilot, autothrottle and HUD/EVS, said Neal.