EBACE Convention News

Gulfstream's G400 Making Program Progress

 - May 19, 2022, 8:11 AM
With a low cabin altitude of 3,255 feet at FL400, the G400’s spacious cabin offers up to 2.5 living areas, with seating for up to 12 passengers.

Gulfstream Aerospace (Booth S117, Static AD7) is highlighting its forthcoming G400 at EBACE 2022, showing interior renderings and other details of the new model. Introduced in October, the aircraft is “the first new entrant to the large-cabin class in more than a decade,” according to the U.S. airframer. Unveiled during a live-streamed event from the company's U.S. headquarters along with the G800, the G400 is the smallest member of the previously introduced G500/G600 family.

“This is a whole new, clean-sheet design,” Vicki Britt, Gulfstream's senior v-p of innovation, engineering, and flight, told AIN. She did note several features the G400 shares with its larger siblings, including the high-speed wing and winglet; Pratt & Whitney Canada PW800GA-series engines; Gulfstream Symmetry Flight Deck with fly-by-wire controls; fuselage cross-section (6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) high and 7 feet 7 inches (2.31 m) wide); and “Gulfstream cabin experience” interior appointments and features.

While the G500 and G600 are follow-ons to the G450 and G550, respectively, the G400 fills a slot in the Gulfstream lineup as a slightly larger aircraft than the company's super-midsize G280. “Conceived and designed with direct customer input,” the twinjet offers what Gulfstream calls “long-range, high-speed performance; cabin comfort; and environmental efficiency unrivaled in its class.”

Performance comes primarily from pairing the new wing and winglet design with PW812GA engines. Together, they will give the G400 an anticipated 4,200-nm range at Mach 0.85 or 3,950-nm at high-speed cruise of Mach 0.88.

It will be able to climb directly to 41,000 feet and shares the 51,000-foot service ceiling with larger Gulfstreams, and will further have steep approach capability for operating at airports requiring such performance. The G400 also promises a 30 percent gain in fuel efficiency over the G450, giving it a lighter environmental footprint, while offering what Gulfstream claims is the largest cabin in its class.

Three cabin configurations will offer seating options for up to 12 passengers in up to 2.5 living areas. Ample storage space will also be provided throughout, the company said.

Complete with a convection oven and cool storage space, the G400's galley will be similar to its larger siblings, as will be the lavatory. The cabin atmosphere is 100 percent fresh, meaning no recirculated or refiltered air. Cabin air will be fully replenished every two minutes and passes through a plasma-ionizing clean air system neutralizing 99.9 percent of airborne bacteria, spores, and odors. Additionally, the G400 features the lowest cabin altitude in its class at 3,255 feet at FL400—the same as the G500 and G600.

The Symmetry avionics suite—which is common with the G500/600 and G700/800—contains 10 touchscreens, incorporating intuitive “phase of flight” menus that put information where and when it’s needed. The fly-by-wire flight control system is manipulated by electronically linked active sidestick controls.

Synthetic Vision is standard, and a head-up display combined vision system incorporating 3D terrain and graphics is optional. Also standard is 3D weather radar and Gulfstream’s new predictive landing performance system (PLPS), which continuously displays the aircraft’s projected landing point at its current configuration on the PFD during final approach, providing pilots advanced warning of potential runway excursions. The PLPS also includes go-around advisory notification.

Behind the panel, a data concentration network (DCN) serves as the G400’s nerve center, routing data among aircraft’s systems that need to be kept in the loop and providing a future-proof path to firmware-driven system upgrades. The DCN can also host programmable functions, so applications and other capabilities can be added to the system.

According to Gulfstream, G400 parts production for the aircraft has begun, and engine certification—the next project milestone—is expected in the second half of this year, well before the aircraft's scheduled 2025 service entry. The rapid development timeline is made possible by Gulfstream’s testing laboratories and iron bird mockup, which Britt said enables software validation, fly-by-wire flight control evaluation, and simulation of risky flight maneuvers before an actual airplane is built.

“By the time these aircraft get to flight tests, we’ve spent thousands of hours with them in our lab test facilities,” she said.

At the October launch event, Gulfstream also unveiled a new showroom at its Savannah, Georgia headquarters, where customers can select materials, designs, and other choices for their custom interiors. One of the focal points of the new facility is a full-scale mockup of a G400, an aircraft a company representative described as drawing “really strong interest.”