Gulfstream president Larry Flynn noted today at the NBAA Convention that the certified G650 comes with performance improved substantially over earlier projections. Gulfstream had originally predicted a max range of 5,000 nm at Mach 0.90. The revised range is 6,000 nm at the same speed, making city pairs such as Tokyo to New York possible at speeds “faster than any other business jet.” Further, the G650’s takeoff balanced field length was reduced to 5,858 feet from the original 6,000 feet at the airplane’s mtow of 99,600 pounds.
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.
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.
In looking for something to validate my feeling about what a lackluster year it has been in the preowned segment, I compared the year-ago inventory level with this year’s numbers at this time, and even though my gut feeling told me so, the results were still a bit surprising.
Last year’s inventory was 2,572, and this year’s number was exactly the same. In between there have been slight upticks and one small downtick that unexpectedly came this past summer, when inventory more often builds than diminishes.
Gulfstream Aerospace has announced plans to increase employment at its Brunswick, Ga., facility by approximately 20 percent in the next year to support a growing volume of completions work. The site currently has 174 employees, including nearly 90 technicians. “Adding about 35 positions is significant growth for Gulfstream Brunswick and a boost to the community as a whole,” said Mark Burns, president of Gulfstream Product Support. Gulfstream Brunswick is home to a completions center and service center and has approximately 55,000 sq ft of hangar space.
U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner announced a federal grand jury has returned a superseding indictment charging William Hugh Weygandt, 63, of Granite Bay, Calif., for conspiracy to commit fraud involving aircraft parts. Weygandt is the former owner and president of Weco Aerospace Systems, an FAA-certified repair station based in Lincoln, Calif., that was purchased in 2007 by Gulfstream Aerospace.
Joe Hertzler, CEO of the Teton Aviation Group, formerly Avtrak, announced his retirement. Hertzler, along with his brother Glenn, co-founded Avtrak in 1996 and built the company to become one of the industry’s premier maintenance tracking providers. The brothers were instrumental in bringing maintenance-tracking software to a new level of sophistication and flexibility.
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.”