Gulfstream Aerospace took the wraps off its newest model, the G450, at the NBAA Convention last month. The fourth example (S/N 4004) of the GIV-X (or next-generation GIV) was on static display at Orlando Executive Airport, along with two G550s, a G400, a G200 and a G100.
General Dynamics said yesterday that its third-quarter earnings rose 25 percent thanks to demand for its Gulfstream business jets and healthy combat systems growth. The company’s aerospace segment, which includes Gulfstream, saw its earnings rise 37 percent, to $226 million, while sales climbed 21 percent, to $1.31 billion.
It’s the sort of problem that any avionics equipment supplier would be happy to have. With a current backlog of some 36 systems, Gulfstream has asked Kollsman of Merrimack, N.H., to increase production of the company’s infrared-sensor-based enhanced vision system (EVS), now certified in a variety of Gulfstreams.
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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.