The Gulfstream G650 completed its first transoceanic flight Saturday, arriving at Geneva International Airport from Dulles International Airport outside of Washington, D.C., in just six hours and 55 minutes. The green, unpainted aircraft, flying under an experimental certificate, flew at an altitude of 43,000 feet at speeds of Mach .90 to Mach .92, over a ground track of 7,000 km (3,780 nm). Gulfstream said it will apply for a city-pair speed record from the National Aeronautic Association.
In addition to the new aircraft type’s first transoceanic crossing, the G650 is making its European debut at EBACE. Sharing piloting duties for the historic flight were Scott Buethe, Gulfstream senior experimental test pilot, and senior production test pilots Ahmed Ragheb and Rick Gowthrop. They were accompanied by a fourth crew member, flight-test engineer David Chalk.
“It’s really a remarkable feeling. I can’t believe I’m here already,” said Buethe, interviewed at the Jet Aviation FBO immediately following the flight. “It’s a bit surreal. I feel very priviledged that Gulfstream let me make this first oceanic crossing. It’s a real pleasure and a priviledge for me personally.”
The production aircraft, S/N 6020, had logged just under 20 flight hours as of the crossing, and was flown from Gulfstream headquarters in Savannah, Ga., to Washington Dulles earlier Saturday. The G650 will be on static display at EBACE until Monday evening.