Gulfstream Aerospace has chosen Securaplane’s lithium-ion battery as standard equipment on its new G650 business jet. The multi-million-dollar deal marks the first time a Gulfstream aircraft will feature the technology, proven some 50-percent lighter than conventional NiCad or lead-acid batteries and carrying a higher energy density.
As the investigation into the cause of the fatal crash of a Gulfstream G650 during an April test flight continues, company officials acknowledge there will likely be some certification delays for the large cabin jet, but they have confidence that the inquiry will conclude soon enough to allow it to complete the FAA certification program this year.
Gulfstream Aerospace resumed flying the G650 on Saturday, nearly two months after suspending the flight-test program following an April 2 fatal accident involving G650 S/N 6002. Senior experimental test pilots Jake Howard and Tom Horne flew S/N 6001 on a one hour, 39 minute flight that originated and terminated at Savannah (Ga.) International Airport.
Although the April 2 crash of flight test G650 S/N 6002 has created some potential delays into the certification program, Gulfstream remains confident that the new large-cabin jet will achieve FAA approval by the end of this year, the Savannah, Ga.-based aircraft manufacturer said today at EBACE.
Gulfstream Aerospace is well on its way to achieving certification of two new jets this year–the G250 and G650–as utilization of the nearly 2,000-strong, in-service Gulfstream fleet grows, new orders exceed deliveries and the product support business continues to expand.
EBACE exhibit stands are still being assembled and the static display area is still mostly bare at the Geneva Palexpo convention center, but some key industry players are predicting the show will mark a turning point for the business aviation industry. “I think this show will be about optimism,” said Jahid Fazil-Karim, a partner at Raleigh, N.C.-based global aircraft brokerage Jetcraft.
The investigation continues into last month’s fatal crash of a Gulfstream G650 during a test flight at Roswell, N.M., and it may be more than a year before the cause of the accident is determined, according to the NTSB.
Airborne communications and flight following provider Guardian Mobility has appointed Howard Pearl president and CEO. He succeeds founding CEO Jean Carr.
Jeppesen has named Paul Eckert v-p of aviation for Europe. He will lead the company’s European, Middle East and African operations.
After getting peppered with questions from investor analysts yesterday about how the April 2 crash of a flight-test G650 would affect the aircraft program, Jay Johnson, chairman and CEO of Gulfstream parent General Dynamics, finally relented.