NBAA Convention News

Strong-selling Gulfstream Invests in Customer Support

 - November 18, 2015, 8:25 PM

Gulfstream Aerospace executives reported strong sales year to date even in the face of “irrational behavior” on the part of unspecified competitors, according to Scott Neal, Gulfstream senior vice president of global sales and marketing. The company was the star performer in third quarter results by its General Dynamics parent on October 31, generating its highest ever quarterly revenue figures and notching its fifth consecutive quarterly profit exceeding $400 million. As of the end of the third quarter, Gulfstream had delivered 116 business aircraft so far in 2015, including 89 large cabin models and 27 midsized jets.

Here at NBAA 2015, Gulfstream announced a variety of capital improvements designed to enhance its customer support. They included additional maintenance hangars in Brunswick, Ga. and Long Beach, Calif.; a new product distribution center in Savannah; a new product support paint facility in Savannah; the addition of MRO services at Jet Aviation in Teterboro; the addition of rapid response support vehicles in Seattle, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.; and more than $1.6 billion in parts worldwide.

Gulfstream’s field and airborne support teams (FAST) will be supported by avionics and mechanical specialists and are aimed at customers who need line service repairs, minor inspections, minor cabin interior repairs and compliance with service bulletins. Three new FAST trucks will be based at Boeing Field in Seattle, Waukegan National Airport in Illinois and Washington Dulles. They join an existing fleet already based at Savannah, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston and New York. The airborne FAST unit is comprised of two Gulfstream G150s and 40 technicians and pilots. FAST also has 12 dedicated technicians based in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Autobraking Added

Additionally Gulfstream announced that the G650 and G650ER were approved to fly precision approaches and are now offered with autobraking. Gulfstream's flagship is now cleared to fly required navigation performance with authorization required (RNP AR) instrument approach procedures. The approval means aircraft equipped with PlaneView II and the Aircraft Service Change 901 software upgrade are capable of flying an RNP AR approach to a minimum RNP value of 0.1 nautical miles.

Autobrakes will now be standard on the G650 and G650ER. They allow pilots to select one of several braking levels depending on the situation. Installation has begun on in production aircraft and they will be offered as an optional retrofit. More than 140 G650s/G650ERs are currently in service; the entire Gulfstream fleet has grown from 1,950 aircraft in 2010 to 2,480 aircraft today. An estimated 868 of these are based outside the U.S.

Meanwhile, Gulfstream president Mark Burns told AIN that market feedback to the company’s new G500 and G600 jets has been “extraordinary.” He said that early sales for the aircraft have been very strong and that, “people have been amazed by the technology.”