The current and projected soft economy and related depressed sales market for business jets has result-ed in a nearly one-year schedule extension of the Gulfstream 150, according to Gulfstream Aerospace.
“We have just completed the preliminary design review, and the overall configuration of the aircraft has been determined,” Mike Rowland, Gulfstream vice president of G100/G200 programs, told AIN. “Interior design definition is under way, the avionics systems have been defined and we are finalizing supplier selection for all of the significant systems on the aircraft.” Gulfstream announced the G150, a derivative of the G100 (formerly the Astra SPX), at last year’s NBAA Convention in Orlando, Fla.
Rowland said several meetings have been conducted with the U.S. and Israeli certification authorities to ensure that all aspects pertaining to aircraft certification are addressed and understood. Upcoming milestones include critical design review of the aircraft and its avionics (scheduled for this August) and the start of the engineering development phase of the project. Design and manufacturing of assembly tooling and jigs will also begin shortly.
The current schedule calls for first flight of the G150 in May 2005 (from November 2004). Certification by the CAAI and FAA is expected in January 2006 (from April 2005) and customer deliveries are to begin in August 2006 (from September 2005). At the NBAA Convention last year, fractional operator NetJets announced a firm order for 50 G150s and options for 50 more. Expected price of the airplane is now $13.5 million, up from $11.5 million announced at the NBAA show.
Major changes to the G150 include a wider cabin, upgraded avionics and a redesigned nose. Although the seating capacity will remain unchanged, the eight-passenger G150 will have 95 more cu ft (465 cu ft versus 370 cu ft) of cabin space, an extra 12 inches in width (5 ft 9 in. versus 4 ft 9 in.), two more inches in height (5 ft 9 in. versus 5 ft 7 in.) and seven more inches in length (17 ft 8 in. versus 17 ft 1 in.). Additionally, side windows will be oval like the G200’s (neé Galaxy) rather than rectangular like the Astra’s. In the cockpit, the pilots will get a larger windshield and Collins Pro Line 21 avionics instead of the G100’s Pro Line 4. And farther up front, the design of the nose is being modified to make it more aerodynamic, which will also give the G150 a look more like that of the G200. The G100’s Honeywell TFE731-40R turbofans, wings and empennage will be retained
in the G150.