Gulfstream Aerospace this week celebrated the 25th anniversary of the first flight of the Gulfstream IV, which the Savannah, Ga.-based manufacturer said is “the best-selling” large-cabin, long-range business jet in the world. On Sept. 19, 1985, three months ahead of schedule, the aircraft took off from Savannah (Ga.) International Airport, just eight days after it was rolled out at the manufacturer’s headquarters in Savannah.
“There’s a fair amount of caution out there, but we're seeing steady activity at our aerospace division, which consists of Gulfstream and Jet Aviation,” Jay Johnson, chairman and CEO of Gulfstream and Jet Aviation parent company General Dynamics, said yesterday at the Morgan Stanley Global Industrials Unplugged Conference. Backlog for current-production large-cabin Gulfstreams is “about where we want to be” at 18 months, he noted.
Gulfstream Aerospace on Friday evening said its G650 S/N 6001 skirted the speed of sound on August 12, reaching Mach 0.995 during flutter testing as part of the 1,800-hour flight-test program for the wide-cabin, long-range business jet.
The Nigerian government’s announcement last month that it is buying two Falcon 7Xs and one Gulfstream G550 has yielded a rare public viewing of business aircraft discounts. The three aircraft will join the country’s eight-aircraft presidential fleet, which includes a Boeing Business Jet, Gulfstream IV-SP and GV and two Falcon 900s.
Midcoast Aviation is absorbing the operations of sister company Savannah Air Center to “consolidate our talents into a single center of excellence,” according to Midcoast president Donald Petersen.
Virgil Wolfe, 68, a company pilot and test pilot with Gulfstream for more than 25 years, died on July 6 in Savannah, Ga. Before his retirement in 1997, he was involved in the development of Gulfstream aircraft from the GI through the G550, and served as a board member of the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame.
“I’m ready for the times to get better,” sang Crystal Gayle. So is the business aviation industry.
“We’re seeing a gradual improvement in the business jet market,” Jay Johnson, the chairman and CEO of Gulfstream and Jet Aviation parent General Dynamics, noted yesterday during the company’s second-quarter financial conference.
Rolls-Royce Opens JSF LiftSystem Facility
Dornier Seaplane - Seastar
Dornier Seaplane has selected Montreal suburb Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu as the location to build a new facility for final assembly of the all-composite, twin-turboprop Seastar amphibian. The site is near Lake Champlain, ideal for production test flights and demonstrations of the Seastar’s amphibious capability.