The National Aeronautic Association awarded Gulfstream Aerospace the prestigious Robert J. Collier Trophy on June 3 for its development of the ultra-long-range G650. The award, which annually recognizes “the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America” the previous year, was presented to Gulfstream and its parent company, General Dynamics, during a gala dinner held in Signature Flight Support’s Hangar 7 at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
Guests were able to tour two G650s flown to the event, including a G650ER extended-range version that set a pending city-pair record flying from Paris-Le Bourget Airport to Washington’s Dulles International Airport in advance of the awards ceremony. The G650ER, which had earlier appeared last month at EBACE in Geneva, covered the 3,869-nm leg from Paris in seven hours and 50 minutes, traveling at an average speed of Mach 0.90. Powered by twin Rolls-Royce BR725 engines, the G650 was announced in March 2008, rolled out from Gulfstream’s Savannah, Ga., facility in September 2009 and first flew on Nov. 25, 2009.
Accepting the Collier Trophy, Larry Flynn, Gulfstream president, asked employees attending the event to stand. “The journey of ushering in a new era of aircraft would not have been possible without the gifted men and women of Gulfstream,” Flynn said. “I’m a firm believer in our workforce, and have bragged about them for many years of my 20-year career with Gulfstream.” He singled out for special mention Pres Henne, former senior vice president of engineering, for Henne’s influence on the G650 design.