The new Gulfstream G700 achieved first flight this afternoon, departing Gulfstream Aerospace’s headquarters at Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport at 1:19 p.m. and landing back at the Georgia airport two hours and 32 minutes later. Piloted by Jake Howard and Eric Holmberg, with flight-test engineer Bill Osborne, the first flight-test G700—T1—operated on a 30/70 blend of sustainable aviation fuel.
“This first flight is a momentous occasion and the next step forward in Gulfstream’s vision for the future, a vision that has been guided by the strategic leadership of our parent company, General Dynamics, and the innovation of the Gulfstream team,” said Gulfstream president Mark Burns. “As the market leader, Gulfstream is moving the entire business-jet industry forward with advanced safety features, tomorrow’s technology and a cabin purposefully designed to exceed our customers’ expectations for comfort.”
The G700 was introduced as the company’s latest flagship in October at NBAA-BACE, where Gulfstream displayed a full-scale cabin mockup and showed video of the first test aircraft taxiing under its own power. Five flight-test aircraft have already been manufactured, and a structural test article has completed load testing.
T1 will focus on envelope expansion, flutter, stalls, flying qualities, flight control, and ice shapes; T2, cabin development and static test; T3, loads/PID, engine/thrust-reverser operation, field performance, and climb performance; T4, environmental control system, mechanical systems, flight into known icing, and cooling/vent; T5, avionics and level-D sim data. A sixth G700 will also serve as a production test aircraft, according to a Gulfstream spokeswoman.
Powered by a pair of Rolls-Royce Pearl 700 engines, the Mach 0.90, 6,400-nm G700 features a five-living-area cabin with 20 panoramic windows. It also includes the Gulfstream Symmetry flight deck with electronically linked active control sidesticks, touchscreen controls, and a predictive landing performance system for enhanced runway safety.
Service entry of the twinjet, which is a stretch derivative of the G650ER, is scheduled for 2022.