While Gulfstream celebrates the 47th anniversary of the first flight of its first business jet this month, that very aircraft is in the process of becoming a museum piece, following a long service career. Grumman Gulfstream II S/N 0001 (built at the company’s Bethpage, N.Y. facility before the business jet division moved to Savannah), first flew on Oct. 2, 1966. After the certification flight-test program it was refurbished and sold to entrepreneur Robert Galvin, Motorola Corporation CEO, in 1970.
Over the past six years, Gulfstream Aerospace has enjoyed seven-fold growth in the Russia and CIS market, with the number of its aircraft based in the region rising from 11 in 2007 to 76 as of the end of June this year. According to Trevor Esling, the U.S. manufacturer’s senior vice president for international sales, this year’s first half proved to be the slowest period for Russia and CIS sales since the financial crisis of 2009 briefly unsettled this growth market. But he has high hopes for an uptick in the remainder of this year.
Jet Aviation Flight Services has added its first Gulfstream G650 to its Part 135 certificate. The wide-cabin, ultra-long-range twinjet, which is available for charter, is being managed by Jet Aviation’s Van Nuys office. The charter G650 accommodates up to 13 passengers and has a range of up to 7,000 nm. This is the second known G650 to be added to the fleet at a U.S.
While analysts are forecasting a slowdown for most Latin American economies in 2013, Bombardier–in its 20-year forecast released in June this year–expects to see an improved market in 2014 and believes that as early as 2016, the Canadian manufacturer will “surpass its prior delivery peak year of 2008.”
Sonoma Jet Center at Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa, Calif., has joined Signature Flight Support’s affiliate FBO program, Signature Select. As such, Sonoma Jet Center will offer the benefits of the Signature Flight Support network, including Signature Status and Signature TailWins customer rewards programs. Sonoma Jet Center boasts an “elegant” passenger terminal and a newly constructed 22,000-sq-ft hangar built to house G650-size aircraft, as well as a smaller 12,000-sq-ft hangar.
Yasava Solutions, in a joint venture with MCM Design Studio, has taken jet cabin design in a new direction it says is based on “intelligent ergonomics and socio-cultural design.”
In May, the cabin design and engineering firm introduced its dramatic Astral Design Series interior proposals for large-cabin business jets. According to CEO Christopher Mbanefo, the firm has been in talks with major OEMs, and the Astral series was created with the Falcon 7X, Global 6000 and G650 cabins in mind.
General Dynamics’s aerospace division, which includes Gulfstream Aerospace and Jet Aviation, had “a powerful quarter, with the highest revenue, operating earnings [and] operating margins reported in the last six quarters,” according to chairman and CEO Phebe Novakovic. Aerospace revenues for the first half climbed $616 million or 19.2 percent, with operating earnings up $171 million (32.4 percent), she said, “a clear manifestation of Jet Aviation’s return to profitability and the performance improvement at Gulfstream.”
APP Jet Center has broken ground on a new 20,000-sq-ft heated hangar at its Manassas Regional Airport facility near Washington, D.C. When completed in January, the FBO’s sixth hangar will be able to accommodate business aircraft up to the size of a Gulfstream G650. The addition will bring the total aircraft storage space at the facility to 150,000 sq ft. APP’s existing hangar space at Manassas is fully occupied, and the company said it continues to receive inquiries from operators based at Dulles seeking to relocate there.