While Gulfstream certainly had a monumental task keeping its G700 project under wraps before Monday’s unveiling, the company that manufactured the mockup also faced a similarly daunting super-secret mission. Jeff Bonner R&D (JBRND) designed and fabricated the two-trailer, self-leveling composite G700 mockup, with some 100 employees sworn to secrecy, having signed non-disclosure agreements.
“The project took close to two years,” said Ed Harris, v-p of sales/program management for San Antonio, Texas-based JBRND. “And we had to take it on an eight-hour test ride over Texas roads with the fuselage completely covered. Now the secret is finally out, and we’d like everyone to know we’d love to do more mockups,” he told AIN.
JBRND has a 65,000-sq-ft facility in San Antonio, where they also built a second 20-foot mockup for smaller demonstration venues. The full-scale, trailer-mounted mockup on display at NBAA-BACE involved fabricating not only the composite fuselage, but also the drive train, trailers, stairs, removable tail, show-site air conditioning, and other features. All that work was required for road travel not only in the U.S., but also in Europe and Asia-Pacific. “We had height, width, and weight requirements to contend with,” said Harris.
In addition to the G700 mockup, JBRND is also showing its new Challenger CL650 pleated window shades at its booth (N5234). The component designer and manufacturer developed manual and electric versions of the shades. "The window shade will be offered as a retrofit to factory OEM shades that have been plagued with reliability problems in the field," Harris said.