The NTSB has issued 10 safety recommendations in the wake of its investigation into the April 2, 2011 crash of the G650 test aircraft. Five of the October 23 recommendations were intended for the FAA, two for Gulfstream Aerospace and the remaining three for the Flight Test Safety Committee. The Board recommends developing flight-test operating guidance for manufacturers.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Rolls-Royce introducing its ground-breaking Power-by-the-Hour support package with a service developed for the Viper engines on the HS125 jet. That was back in 1962, and the engine manufacturer still has one aircraft supported on that program.
Third-quarter revenues at General Dynamics’ aerospace division, which includes Gulfstream Aerospace and Jet Aviation, were $1.8 billion, up 30 percent from a year ago due to more green G650 deliveries, while profits rose 20.3 percent, to $261 million.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has concluded that Gulfstream’s rush to complete an aggressive flight-test schedule for its new G650 was a key factor in the April 2, 2011, crash of a test aircraft at the Roswell International Air Center in New Mexico.
Gulfstream Aerospace earned long-awaited full certifications of its super-midsize G280 and wide-cabin, ultra-long-range G650 last month. The G280 obtained full approval from two aviation authorities–the U.S. FAA and Israeli CAAI–on September 3, and the G650 received full FAA certification four days later.
FlightSafety International (FSI) began customer pilot training for the newly certified Gulfstream G650 on September 10 at its Savannah Gulfstream Learning Center. FSI has 16 pilots enrolled in the first class, which is expected to last three-and-a-half weeks and will be supported by two full-motion simulators, four graphical flight simulators (GFS), 14 pilot instructors and one center manager.
Cooling demand from the recently buoyant Chinese market for business jets is set to result in weaker overall sales for 2012, Gulfstream Aerospace president Larry Flynn said this week at Jet Expo in Moscow. The U.S. manufacturer has seen a dip in new orders from China this year in a reversal of last year’s market conditions in which Flynn said, “Overheated orders from China drove our 2011 sales well ahead of plan.”
Having achieved some success in lifting import taxes for some foreign-made business aircraft, the Russian United Business Aviation Association (RUBAA) has said it will not lobby to eliminate duties for aircraft weighing more than 20 metric tons (44,000 pounds) operating empty weight (OEW). The decision, which is likely to frustrate Western aircraft manufacturers, was this week during Jet Expo 2012 in Moscow.
With FAA type certification of its new G650 and G280 in hand, Gulfstream is stepping up efforts to ensure that it meets its goal of making first customer deliveries during the last three months of this year. “We are focused on ensuring that deliveries start in the fourth quarter,” Gulfstream president Larry Flynn told AIN today at Jet Expo 2012 in Moscow. He added that G650 deliveries to Russian customers are scheduled to begin during the first few months of next year.