Amid much fanfare, Gulfstream Aerospace unveiled the G700 as its newest flagship this evening at its NBAA-BACE static display at Las Vegas Henderson Executive Airport. Qatar Executive is the announced launch customer, while Flexjet is the first North American fleet customer.
Its latest offering combines the best features of its G650ER and recently certified G500/600, resulting in a $75 million twinjet with an NBAA IFR range of at least 7,500 nm. The G700—available for viewing in cabin mockup form this week at Henderson—has a five-living-area cabin with 20 large, G650-size windows, providing a strong competitive response that industry-watchers were widely expecting.
In true Gulfstream fashion, the two first-test aircraft (T1 and T2) have already rolled off the company's G650 production line in Savannah, Georgia, and are now undergoing several months of ground tests before a planned first flight in the first half of next year. Service entry of the G700 is expected to follow in 2022.
Though touted as an all-new airplane, the fly-by-wire G700 is actually a 10-foot stretched derivative of the G650, with which it also shares the same nose and wing. The jet also borrows the G500/600’s Symmetry flight deck, including the active-control sidesticks, while adding a redesigned tail with lower height for easier hangar access, swoopy winglets, and new Rolls-Royce Pearl 700 engines. Because of the similar flight deck, the G700 will share a common pilot type rating with the G500/600, according to Gulfstream.
“This will be the largest airplane we’ve ever built,” Gulfstream president Mark Burns told AIN. “It will have the widest, tallest, and longest cabin in the industry. The G650 set the bar…[and] the G700 is another game-changer.”
Gulfstream's G700 cabin mockup shows off what is arguably some of the G700’s best assets—space, comfort, and luxury. Plenty of light permeates the mockup, thanks to the score of large oval windows in the daytime and high-definition lighting system at night. The G700’s standard lighting system has six LEDs per inch, while an optional ultra-HD system boasts 12 LEDs per inch. Both can emulate sunrise through sunset.
The mockup’s first section includes a forward lavatory; storage area; three-person divan (instead of an optional crew rest area); and an “ultra-large” galley complete with a 10-foot countertop, spacious refrigerator, microwave, conventional oven, and plenty of storage space for tableware, food, and drinks. In fact, the galley is so well equipped that Gulfstream said owners could eschew catering and, instead, bring along a chef to cook meals from scratch onboard the G700.
Its second section offers club-four seating with all-new, fully articulating and berthable seats that improve comfort and aesthetics. They are available in a number of fabrics, finishes, and firmness levels. In addition, the mockup has wider ledges with integrated storage, device power outlets, and deep cup holders.
Meanwhile, the third zone features an entertainment area with a three-seat divan, pop-up 40-inch 4K flat-screen TV, and immersive 3D sound system that turns the sidewall panels themselves into speakers. Gulfstream collaborated with Bongiovi on the sound system, which uses transducers attached to the back of the cabin wall panel and thus allows the panel itself to become the speaker.
For dining, the fourth section is configured in a club-six layout with a quick-deploy table that spans the entire cross-section. The table also includes a hidden, built-in wireless charger that allows passengers to recharge their smartphones simply by placing their devices on the table.
The aft section of the mockup contains a master bedroom with a full-size bed and dresser, in addition to an en suite lavatory with a toilet and vanity opposite from a floor-to-ceiling storage closet. In a first for a Gulfstream, the aft lav includes windows. Aft lavatory options not shown on the mockup include a larger vanity with opposite toilet, as well as a shower.
A rear door in the aft lavatory allows in-flight entry to the 195-cu-ft baggage compartment, which can hold up to 2,500 pounds.
In Perfect Symmetry
At the front end, the G700 features Gulfstream’s touchscreen Symmetry flight deck driven by Honeywell Primus Epic avionics and BAE-developed active-control sidesticks that simulate mechanical linkage to prevent simultaneous pilot input. The full three-axis digital fly-by-wire system offers flight-envelope protection, stability augmentation, increased redundancy, and reduced maintenance.
Many of the visible switches found in earlier designs have been eliminated. Instead, inputs are made through 10 touchscreens like those in the G500/600. In addition, cursor control devices are integrated into the center console, giving each pilot control of three of the four main display screens and allowing data to be shifted between them in the event of a failure.
The system incorporates intelligent input recognition software that filters out erroneous inputs. “Basically, Symmetry won’t let the pilots make any system changes that could harm the airplane,” said Gulfstream senior v-p of innovation and test flight Colin Miller. “And an intuitive phase-of-flight capability reduces pilot workload. It can automatically turn on things such as the fuel pumps in the engine start sequence. Because of this, you can go from dark screens to engine startup in less than 10 minutes.”
Standard avionics include dual head-up displays—another first for a Gulfstream—EVS III enhanced vision and synthetic vision system, giving it full enhanced flight vision system (EFVS)-to-land capability. Additionally, the G700 comes standard with 3-D Taxi, Honeywell RDR-4000 3D weather radar that provides predictive hazard warnings for lightning and hail, and a predictive landing system that aims to prevent runway overruns by showing where the airplane will come to a stop on the ground in its current configuration.
Gulfstream has also redesigned the pilot seats for better comfort—an important feature on an airplane with an endurance exceeding 14 hours.
Other Systems and Specs
Power for the G700 comes from two 18,250-pound-thrust Rolls-Royce Pearl 700 turbofans. Compared with the BR725 on the G650/650ER, the new model provides 8 percent more thrust while burning 3.5 percent less fuel, in addition to weighing less. The Pearl 700 will meet or exceed Stage 5 noise standards and nitrous oxide emissions are projected to be 35 percent below CAEP/6.
New features inside the engine include a blisk fan, 10-stage high-pressure axial compressor, and improved gearbox breather exhaust. Safran-Aircelle is supplying the new nacelle for the Pearl 700. The engine will require a new certification, Gulfstream said.
Meanwhile, Daher is supplying the new high-speed winglet for the G700. “Its curved shape will give the airplane a distinctive ramp presence compared to other Gulfstreams,” Miller said. The G700's nose-to-tail length of 109 feet 10 inches—10 feet greater than the G650ER—will also add to the new airplane’s ramp presence, he added.
According to Gulfstream, the G700 will have a maximum takeoff weight of 107,600 pounds and a maximum fuel load of 49,400. Balanced field length at mtow is 6,250 feet, while the landing distance is 2,500 feet at an as-yet-unspecified “typical landing weight.”
Maximum range is “conservatively” 7,500 nm at a normal cruise speed of Mach 0.85 or 6,400 nm at Mach 0.90 high-speed cruise, said Miller. Like the G650/650ER and G500/600, the G700 has a maximum speed of Mach 0.925.
At Mach 0.85, the G700 could fly nonstop westbound from New York to Beijing, all of South America to the south, and Cape Town and Delhi to the east. At a reduced mtow of 100,000 pounds to meet weight restrictions at New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport (TEB), the twinjet can fly nonstop from TEB to Beijing, Tokyo, all of South America, Nairobi, and Delhi at Mach 0.85.
Certification is expected in 2022, with service entry to immediately follow. Like other in-production Gulfstreams, the G700 will be certified for steep approaches.