Although a spokeswoman confirmed last week that Bombardier has no imminent plans to announce a larger jet to compete with Gulfstream’s G650, CEO Pierre Beaudoin recently indicated that the company might launch a model to compete with the G650, but he did not indicate a timescale. Some believe it could be as soon as the first quarter of next year.
Executives from Gulfstream Aerospace were clearly starting to relax about the economic situation at a Dubai Airshow press conference here this week. The business aircraft manufacturer is banking on an upturn to ensure that its two new jets–the G250 and G650–prove real winners.
Bombardier is under commercial pressure to launch a new flagship business jet to rival the Gulfstream G650 as the world’s industry descends on what is the key event for the leading large-bizjet-buying region. With its significant range advantage, the G650 looks to be set to beat Bombardier’s leading model–the Global Express XRS– hands down when it enters service in 2012.
On the eve of last month’s NBAA convention, engine and avionics manufacturer Honeywell released its 18th annual 10-year market forecast, projecting a serious near-term dip in business jet deliveries but a gradual climb back to the heights reached during last year’s production peak.
Gulfstream and Israel Aerospace Industries publicly intro- duced the first example of the Gulfstream G250 at IAI’s facility on Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv, Israel, two weeks before the opening of this year’s NBAA Convention in Orlando.
Under a bright blue sky on September 29, Gulfstream Aerospace rolled out the first wide-cabin G650 under the power of its two Rolls-Royce BR725 engines before a crowd of about 7,000 people at the company’s Savannah, Ga. headquarters. The $64.5 million (2009 $) twinjet–dubbed T1, for test aircraft one–is currently undergoing ground tests and is scheduled to fly by year-end.
Gulfstream rolled out two new jets recently, the large-cabin flagship G650 on September 29 in Savannah, Ga., and the super-midsize G250 in Tel Aviv, Israel, on October 6. Both jets’ programs remain on schedule and they are expected to fly before year-end and achieve certification in 2011. The $64.5 million Mach 0.925 G650 is powered by two Rolls-Royce BR725 turbofans and is Gulfstream’s first clean-sheet new type certificate since the GII.
When Gulfstream’s G650 rolled out on September 29, it was with the first of International Water-Guard’s new IWG-A6 water treatment units installed. The system will be standard on all production G650s and is IWG’s newest and most advanced product, “protecting passengers and crew from waterborne contaminants.”
Gulfstream isn’t shy about saying that the new wide-cabin G650 will not forever be the upper echelon of the Savannah, Ga.-based company’s aircraft line. “We are already working on product development beyond the G250 and G650; that’s not the end of the line,” Jay Johnson, president and CEO of Gulfstream parent General Dynamics, said last month. Recent U.S.
Gulfstream is not shy about the fact that the new wide-cabin G650 may be the first of a new jet family for the Savannah, Ga.-based aircraft manufacturer. In fact, Jay Johnson, president and CEO of Gulfstream parent General Dynamics, said as much at the Morgan Stanley Global Industrials Conference held early last month: “We are already working on product development beyond the G250 and G650–that’s not the end of the line.”