Gulfstream has received FAA certification on its G650 and G650ER for steep approaches, the airframer announced on Monday at EBACE 2019. After successfully demonstrating its steep-approach capabilities last year, the type can now access challenging airports such as London City, which requires the additional certification due to its short runway and noise-abatement requirements.
This approval, which covers the 350-plus G650s in service, also opens the aircraft for use in mountainous area airports such as Lugano, which also has a short runway in the mouth of a valley, requiring similar approach characteristics.
The G650—which recently completed the fastest and longest-range business jet flight in history, eclipsing the previous Singapore-Tucson, Arizona record by 44 minutes—has tallied more than 90 city-pair speed records. “With the G650ER’s proven performance, our customers consistently arrive first to their destinations and now have even more flexibility,” said Mark Burns, the airframer’s president. “We are committed to providing options for traveling, unhindered, to the most remote destinations. Speed and range combined with steep–approach certification ensure customers save countless hours per year.”
Gulfstream also noted that its super-midsize G280 was approved by the FAA for touchdown and rollout using the optional enhanced flight vision system (EFVS), which consists of an enhanced vision camera and a head-up display (HUD). G280 pilots who have been specially trained and have received a letter of authorization from the U.S. agency will now be able to land their EFVS-equipped G280s without using natural vision to see the runway, relying instead on the imagery presented on the HUD.
“This approval enables our G280 operators to land in more weather conditions, limiting delays or rerouting," explained Colin Miller, Gulfstream’s recently-named senior vice president of innovation, engineering, and flight. “The Gulfstream EVFS significantly improves safety by increasing a pilot’s situational awareness at night and during low-visibility conditions.”
The G280, whose fleet now numbers more than 165, joins its newer, larger sibling G500 as the only aircraft in the world to receive the EFVS touchdown and rollout certification. Approval is pending on the G650/650ER, G550, and G450, while the G600 will offer the capability upon entry into service later this year.
Savannah, Georgia-based Gulfstream (Booth T139, SD406) brought its entire product family to EBACE—comprising the G280, G550, G500, G600, and flagship Gulfstream G650ER—for customer viewing. “Customers in Europe have long recognized Gulfstream as the leader in providing high-performing, technologically advanced aircraft with an exquisite passenger environment,” said Burns. “Europe continues to be a strong market for Gulfstream, and we look forward to another successful EBACE.”