Rockwell Collins’ new HGS-5860 is the first head-up display (HUD) system with an LCD projector to be certified on a business jet–Dassault’s Falcon 7X. At EBACE yesterday, Rockwell Collins also announced that Gulfstream has selected the HGS-6000 HUD as standard equipment on the G450 and G550 and as an option on the remainder of its model line. Entry into service for Gulfstream’s version of the Rockwell Collins HUD is expected in 2009.
Gulfstream kicked off its EBACE press conference yesterday with a contract signing for 20 G450s (three firm and 17 options) destined for National Air Services of Saudi Arabia. The agreement, potentially worth more than $650 million if all options are exercised, calls for delivery of the first aircraft in the third quarter of 2009. Other deliveries will continue for the following five years.
Situational awareness is fundamental to safe flight. Cockpit instruments can provide precise indications of an airplane’s position and trajectory, but once the world outside grows too dark, cloudy or foggy to see, pilots must rely on the safety margins built into IFR procedures to maintain safe separation from the ground.
Gulfstream Aerospace has developed an airstair hoist system that provides easier access for business jet passengers who require a wheelchair or have difficulty climbing stairs. “When combined with an airline-approved wheelchair, the system enables the passenger to enter the aircraft via a platform that ascends the airstair, stopping at the entrance of the main cabin door.
The flagship of the Gulfstream fleet has flown proudly in the past couple of months.
Resembling a turbine engine, the pre-owned market in the first quarter of last year sucked wind. What a difference a year makes. All of a sudden everyone needs a corporate jet, demand that is pushing inventory levels of pre-owned stock lower and delivery dates of many new aircraft out farther. There are about 50 fewer aircraft available today than there were this time last year.
Gulfstream’s first-quarter operating earnings and margins improved from the same period last year. Business jet deliveries increased for the second consecutive quarter–to 17 in the first quarter compared with 15 in the first three months of last year. Gulfstream projects delivering 53 to 55 “large” aircraft (G300 through G550) this year, compared with 50 last year.
The one unmistakable message that came out of this year’s Asian Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (ABACE) is that business aviation in Asia is no longer merely a talking point. While the region still faces challenges, there is progress on every front and aircraft are moving passengers throughout the region in unprecedented numbers.
Despite the long range they’re capable of, the G550 and G500 might be making many more short hops than long-distance flights. According to Gulfstream, the worldwide G550/500 fleet recently logged its 100,000th flight hour, along with 40,000 takeoff and landing cycles, since the model’s debut in 2003. Despite their nonstop range of approximately 6,000 nm, the jets aren’t generally up for long, averaging just 2.5 hours per flight.
Gulfstream’s third-quarter results show double-digit improvements in net sales (14.3 percent) and operating earnings (34.3 percent), as well as an increase in backlog and a marked jump in aircraft deliveries, compared with the same nine-month period last year.