Gulfstream’s fourth large-cabin G650–and the first production example–joined the flight-test program on June 6, just three days after the third test G650 first left the ground. As of Sunday, the four flying G650s had logged more than 85 flights and 240 hours, not quite 15 percent of the estimated 1,800 flight hours required for certification.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner test fleet surpassed 1,000 flight hours this week. According to Boeing, the 787 program is now about 40 percent through the test conditions required to certify the first version–the 787-8–of the new twin widebody.
Boeing announced yesterday that it received expanded type inspection authorization (TIA) from the FAA for the 747-8 Freighter on June 11, clearing the way for FAA personnel to participate in test flights and collect required data.
The HondaJet program has once again been delayed. Honda Aircraft this week began notifying buyers that delivery of the first HA-420 HondaJet is now planned for the third quarter of 2012. “Regrettably we’ve experienced delays in some components,” HondaJet spokesman Stephen Keeney told AIN. He could not identify the suppliers involved in the latest setback for the program.
Gulfstream is on track to fulfill business aviation’s need for speed with its new G650 jet reaching its top operating speed of Mach 0.925 during a test flight on Sunday.
The large-cabin aircraft is on track to enter service as the world’s fastest in-production civil aircraft, overtaking the Cessna Citation X and perhaps heading off the challenge posed by planned supersonic business jets.
The first Gulfstream G650, S/N 6001, yesterday reached its top operating speed of Mach 0.925 during a test flight from the company’s headquarters in Savannah, Ga. When certified, the G650 will become the fastest transport-category aircraft in service, a spot currently held by the Mach 0.92 Cessna Citation X.
The FAA granted Boeing expanded type inspection authorization (TIA) yesterday for the 787 Dreamliner, clearing the way for the agency’s personnel to fully participate in future test flights and for the collection of required flight-test data. The agency on February 11 granted initial TIA, which supported the collection of flutter certification data.
The second Boeing 747-8 Freighter, RC521, landed in Palmdale, Calif., yesterday, marking the beginning of a planned transition of testing to Southern California. The more than four-hour flight from Boeing Field in Seattle included testing on avionics and cruise performance.
Boeing insists the first 787 Dreamliner remains on schedule for first delivery to All Nippon Airways by the end of this year, despite some admitted glitches during flight testing that appear to have eroded much of the margin the company had built into its timetable for certification.
The third Boeing 747-8 Freighter, RC 521, joined the program’s flight-test program yesterday with a successful two-and-a-half-hour maiden mission. Piloted by captains Paul Stemer and Keith Otsuka, the program’s final prototype took off from Paine Field in Everett, Wash., at 3:27 p.m. local time and landed at Boeing Field in Seattle at 5:58 p.m. The airplane reached an altitude of 30,000 feet and an airspeed of 245 knots.