What’s Flying in the Heads of Gulfstream Engineers?

 - October 22, 2009, 9:34 AM

Gulfstream isn’t shy about saying that the new wide-cabin G650 will not forever be the upper echelon of the Savannah, Ga.-based company’s aircraft line. “We are already working on product development beyond the G250 and G650; that’s not the end of the line,” Jay Johnson, president and CEO of Gulfstream parent General Dynamics, said last month. Recent U.S. trademark filings by Gulfstream and its various ongoing research and development programs in key aerospace technology areas provide a clue as to what might be in the company’s future line-up. Gulfstream’s recent trademark filings for the G700, G750, G760 and G770, as well as the G800, G850, G860 and G870, raise some eyebrows. One has to wonder what technology these aircraft will incorporate from the manufacturer’s known R&D projects and if either will be supersonic. Asked about the new G700-series and G800-series models at the G650 rollout late last month, Gulfstream president Joe Lombardo and senior vice president of programs, engineering and test Pres Henne acknowledged that the company is actively working on new aircraft models beyond the G250 and G650. “However,” Lombardo said, “don’t assume that these aircraft are larger or faster than the G650.” Henne added, “The model numbers don’t matter. Don’t read too much into these model numbers.”