NBAA Convention News

Gulfstream wings it with new super-midsize G250

 - October 5, 2008, 3:50 PM

Gulfstream Aerospace (Booth No. 275) yesterday morning unveiled the G250 to succeed the G200, which entered service in 2000 as the Galaxy super-midsize business jet. This marks the second new aircraft launch this year for the Savannah, Ga. manufacturer following the official go-ahead for the large-cabin G650 in March. The company began accepting orders here at NBAA for the roughly $24 million (complete) airplane.

Preliminary performance numbers include a 3,400-nm range at Mach 0.80, a maximum speed of Mach 0.85, 45,000-foot ceiling and the ability to take off from 5,000-foot runways at its 39,600-pound mtow. Gulfstream maintains that the G250 will offer best-in-class cabin size, range and speed, thanks to an all-new wing and more powerful Honeywell engines. The new design, which retains the same fuselage as the G200 and has a new T-tail, also boasts PlaneView250 avionics based on the Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion system.

The new jet has been in development for about three years, and all wind-tunnel tests have been completed, Gulfstream reports. First flight of the G250 is expected in the second half of next year, with certification and the start of deliveries planned for 2011. Like the G150 and G200, the G250 will be built under contract by Israel Aerospace Industries at its facility at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv and outfitted at Gulfstream’s completion facility for midcabin aircraft in Dallas.

“Our customers played a definitive role in designing this business jet by participating in our advanced technology customer advisory team,” noted Gulfstream president Joe Lombardo. “As a result, we are confident they’ll appreciate the G250’s state-of-the-art technology, superior performance and enhanced styling.”
The G250’s new engine and a clean-sheet, advanced transonic wing design are expected to address many of the G200’s shortcomings, notably range and runway performance.

While its predecessor is powered by two 6,040-pound-thrust Pratt & Whitney Canada PW306A turbofans, the follow-on model gets a pair of Honeywell HTF250G engines, each of which provides 7,445 pounds of thrust. This extra 2,810 total pounds of total thrust will yield better climb performance, allowing the G250 to reach FL410 in less than 20 minutes.

According to Gulfstream, the new Honeywell powerplants are quieter (at least 13 EPN dB below Stage 4), produce fewer emissions (20 percent below CAEP 6 requirements) and have longer maintenance intervals. An off-the-shelf-nacelle and thrust reverser system completes the engine assembly.

But it is the all-new wing that is likely the most significant improvement on the G250, especially since the G200 shares the same wing platform with the G100 (née Astra SPX). The wing was adapted, not optimized, for the G200, and the twinjet’s runway performance and range suffered as a result.

The G200 wing also had the same boot de-ice system as the G100, a frequent complaint of operators who believed a $22 million super-midsize jet deserved a heated leading-edge anti-ice system. In fact, the issue was so sensitive for Gulfstream that it switched to silver-colored boots in an attempt to hide the system.
On the G250, operators get their wish–a wing optimized for high-speed cruise and improved takeoff performance and inclusion of a bleed-air anti-ice system. Compared with its predecessor, the new wing–which appears to be a scaled-down G550 planform–has a five-foot wingspan increase, higher sweep and a 23-percent improvement in aerodynamic efficiency. In all, the G250’s takeoff distance is about 1,100 feet shorter than that of the G200.

While the G250 retains the same fuselage and tail section as the G200, as well as the same cabin cross-section dimensions, this is pretty much where the similarities end. The cabin length has been increased by eight inches and the baggage area was enlarged to 120 cu ft, but Gulfstream didn’t accomplish this by stretching the fuselage.

Instead, the company optimized the available space by removing the fuselage fuel tank found in the G200. This has the added benefit of allowing in-flight access to the baggage compartment, something that isn’t possible on the G200.

The cabin of the newest Gulfstream will include “enhanced aesthetics” by incorporating window scallops, new-design end cabinets, a redesigned and larger galley and a restyled lavatory complete with a vacuum toilet system. According to Gulfstream, the standard cabin layout on the G250 is forward club seating with a half club divan in the rear, contrasting with the standard double-club layout on the G200.

In the G250’s flight deck, the older Rockwell Collins Pro Line 4 avionics found on its predecessor have been updated with the PlaneView250 cockpit that uses the Pro Line Fusion system as a platform. This avionics system features three 15-inch LCD screens that can display multiple formats, including a navigation map with terrain, approach and airport charts, graphical flight planning and optional synthetic and enhanced vision. Two PlaneBook electronic flight bag computers are also standard equipment.

The cockpit also includes two 5.3-inch glare-shield-mounted LCD standby multifunction controllers that can function as standby instruments, EFIS display controls and remote information displays.

Available options include a Rockwell Collins HGS-6250 head-up display (HUD II), Gulfstream enhanced-vision system (EVS II) and Gulfstream synthetic-vision/primary flight display (SVS-PFD). Additional options include predictive wind shear alerting, XM graphical weather, paperless cockpit, en route
e-charts and an intercontinental package with enhanced capability and redundancy for oceanic and remote-area operations.

The G250 will have a brake-by-wire system that features anti-skid, independent mechanical backup and a brake temperature monitoring system. The jet will also have auto braking, which Gulfstream said will set the G250 apart from others in its class. According to Gulfstream, the airplane’s flight-control system consists of a fly-by-wire spoiler and rudder system, as well as hydromechanical elevators and manual ailerons.