Perched at the top of Gulfstream’s lineup of luxury business jets sits the G550, a longer-legged and heavier version of the G500 for which the original GV and GV-SP lend their names. The $45 million G550’s list of improvements over the G500 includes true New York-to-Tokyo nonstop range, increased payload-carrying capability, higher cruise speed and shorter takeoff distances.
By June 1 Gulfstream is expected to start offering the BAE Systems Matador infrared surface-to-air missile countermeasures system for the GV and GV-SPs, and on their new derivatives, the G500 and G550. FAA approval for the approximately $3 million option was pending at press time. Gulfstream said the Matador has been installed on one GIV and six GIV-SPs since it was certified for the GIV series two years ago.
Gulfstream now offers the FAA-approved BAE Systems Matador infrared surface-to-air missile countermeasure system for the G500, G550 and GV. The $3 million system was approved for the G400 and G300 at last year’s NBAA Convention and has already been installed on one GIV and six GIV-SPs since it was certified for the GIV series more than two years ago.
The addition of a signal splitter to the forward-looking infrared camera system in the nose of the Gulfstream V now allows operators to add a small video display in the cockpit showing the same enhanced vision system (EVS) image the pilot sees through the HUD. Intended for use by the copilot as an aid to situational awareness, the optional equipment includes a 5.6-inch Rosen LCD and is priced at $24,000.
The FAA last month approved the first simulators for two business jets that received certification this summer: the ultra long-range Gulfstream 550 and the super-midsize Bombardier Challenger 300. The G550 sim, built by FlightSafety Simulation in Tulsa, Okla., was approved to FAA level-D standards and is located at FlightSafety’s learning center in Savannah, Ga., near the Gulfstream factory. NLX Corp.
Gulfstream Aerospace reports that the G450, an upgraded G400 with G550 avionics, is on track for FAA certification in the third quarter of this year. Customer deliveries are pegged to begin next spring. Since the model’s first flight on April 30 last year, the four G450 test airplanes have logged more than 1,250 flight hours on about 500 flights.
Dunlop Aerospace braking systems has developed high-performance, next-generation wheels and carbon brakes for the G500 and G550. The new wheel and brake is an enhanced version of the current GV unit. It takes into account various changes in configuration, including an increased maximum takeoff weight of 91,000 pounds. Dunlop Aerospace is already the sole supplier of wheels and brakes for the G400 and G450.
Responding to customer requests, Gulfstream is now offering the Kollsman infrared enhanced-vision system (EVS) to owners and operators of GIVs outfitted with Honeywell SPZ 8000 avionics. An amendment to an earlier STC clears the way for all GIVs and GIV-SPs (about 500 in total) to be fitted with the $500,000 EVS sensor system.
Despite the large-cabin Gulfstream’s aura of being the all-American business jet, it
has significant European content. On the G350/450 that content includes the pair of Rolls-Royce Tay engines, and on the G500/550 it includes not only the Rolls-Royce Deutschland BR710 turbofans but also the tail, which is made by Stork Fokker in Holland.
Venture capitalist Danny Pettit last month received the first Gulfstream 500, a less expensive (approximately $37.5 million), shorter-range (5,800-nm nonstop) and less option-laden version of the G550. The G500 features the same cabin size as the G550, as well as its PlaneView cockpit and speed and altitude performance. The lighter G500, certified in December, also has a BFL of 5,150 feet–760 feet less than the heavier G550.