The fourth flight-test Gulfstream G700—registered as N705GD and dubbed T4 by the aircraft manufacturer—took to the air on Friday afternoon from the company’s base at Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport in Savannah, Georgia. N705GD lifted off at 2:09 p.m. EDT and flew for 1 hour and 56 minutes, reaching an altitude of 41,000 feet and speed of Mach 0.89.
“This is the fourth first flight we’ve accomplished within just eight months, and that is a truly impressive feat,” said Gulfstream Aerospace president Mark Burns. “What sets Gulfstream apart is that we ensure our aircraft are mature upon certification, so our customers know that what we deliver will be safe, reliable, and exceed their expectations.”
To date, the four flight-test aircraft have logged more than 600 hours since T1’s first flight on February 14. T2 joined the flight-test fleet on March 20, followed by T3 on May 8. According to Gulfstream, the G700 has also flown beyond its maximum certified operating speed and cruise altitude, reaching a speed of Mach 0.99 and an altitude of 54,000 feet.
T4 will focus on testing avionics, environmental control system, mechanical systems, electrical power, and hydraulics. Meanwhile, T1 is being used for envelope expansion, flutter, stalls, flying qualities, flight control, and ice shapes; T2, cabin development and static test; and T3, loads/parameter identification data (PID), engine/thrust-reverser operation, field performance, and climb performance. T5 will be used for further avionics testing and level-D simulator data, while a sixth G700 will serve as a production test aircraft during the certification campaign.
Powered by a pair of Rolls-Royce Pearl 700 engines, the Mach 0.92, 7,500-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 long-range twinjet—a stretch derivative of the G650ER—is scheduled for 2022.