Flight testing of Gulfstream’s GV-SP is back on pace following a schedule interruption caused by last month’s terrorist attacks. The latest ultra-long-range business jet from Gulfstream Aerospace, the GV-SP made its first flight on August 31, four weeks ahead of schedule and well on the way to an expected certification date late next year.
Amid much fanfare, the 200th Gulfstream G200 rolled out yesterday at Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI) manufacturing plant at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv. “This is a historic moment for Gulfstream and IAI,” said Gulfstream Aerospace president Joe Lombardo.
Gulfstream Aerospace is the first aircraft manufacturer to receive FAA Organizational Designation Authorization (ODA), which allows the company to act on the agency’s behalf to examine initial phase manufacturing of its own aircraft designs, production quality and airworthiness in Savannah, Ga.
In 1996 Brian Barents accepted a position with the newly formed Galaxy Aerospace, and along with it the responsibility for integrating the assets of Astra Jet Corp., a struggling New Jersey company with a single product–the midsize Astra SPX.
Barents, president and CEO, was also a part owner of Galaxy Aerospace, along with Chicago’s Pritzker Group and Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI), manufacturer of the Astra SPX.
That sound you hear is the subdued tightening of belts as business aviation faces a recession after a half-decade of unprecedented growth.
The Pritzkers of Chicago–one of the nation’s wealthiest families, with controlling interest in the Hyatt hotel chain and one-time part owner of the former Galaxy Aerospace–agreed to pay a record $460 million to the federal government to avoid possible lawsuits from the failure of its Superior Bank.
Gulfstream Aerospace plans to cut about 480 people from its workforce of 8,000, citing a drop in business jet orders in response to the slowing economy. The Savannah, Ga.-based manufacturer laid off 200 employees last fall. Gulfstream, a subsidiary of General Dynamics, also revealed it will cut back production of GIV-SPs and GVs by 11 to 15 percent, or about eight to 10 aircraft this year.
Although a gloomy sky hung over Geneva Palexpo Center, the view could hardly have been better yesterday morning for a group of aviation journalists invited by Gulfstream on a breakfast flight over the Alps in a G200.
Two months after launching the biggest, fastest and priciest Gulfstream ever, top executives for the U.S. business jet maker arrived at EBACE with a growing order book for their new G650 and sky-high optimism about the direction of the company overall.
Worldwide shipments of business aircraft in the first six months of the year set a record as the industry’s best first half ever. With final numbers yet to be released by Airbus and Piaggio, the industry recorded shipments in the first half of the year of 518 airplanes, compared with the 503 total aircraft shipped in the first half of last year.