Gulfstream Gets High Five for G650 Program

 - January 25, 2011, 8:53 AM

Gulfstream G650 S/N 6005–the fifth and final flight-test iteration of the new wide-cabin business jet–lifted off yesterday for the first time, flying for 2+46. The five G650s in the program have now surpassed 1,100 hours of flight testing. On its first flight, S/N 6005 launched from Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport at 12:07 p.m., eventually reaching Mach 0.94 and 51,000 feet before landing at 2:53 p.m. Experimental test pilots Bill Dobbs and Al Moros were at the controls. The high Mach number, which is above the Mach 0.925 Mmo, was achieved to validate the aircraft’s maximum speed for stability characteristics, a requirement for receiving an airworthiness certificate from the FAA. “This flight represents a significant milestone in the overall certification program,” said Pres Henne, Gulfstream senior vice president of programs, engineering and test. “The flight-test program is moving along at a brisk pace.” Before its first flight, S/N 6005 underwent certification ground tests for lightning and high-intensity radiated fields. The four other flight-test G650s have also completed several tests–including initial flight control system certification tests–required for the twinjet’s FAA and EASA approval, expected later this year.