Gulfstream Aerospace is now expecting certification of the G700 near the end of this year, president Mark Burns said at an EBACE 2023 media briefing on Monday that covered the U.S. airframer’s in-development programs, which also include the follow-on G800 and the G400. The company (Booth S120) more recently expected the G700, introduced at NBAA-BACE in 2019, to get FAA approval in the third quarter, but Burns said pandemic-related issues, including staffing shortages at the regulatory agency, are causing the process to take “much longer than anticipated.”
Nonetheless, the G700 recently completed several certification test points during field performance and flying qualities trials. Meanwhile, the G700 has amassed more than 25 city-pair speed records on a world tour of two outfitted production aircraft last year and continuing customer visits worldwide. That includes one just set on the flight to EBACE, arriving in Geneva from Mumbai, India, in 8 hours 34 minutes at an average speed of Mach 0.90.
G800 certification is expected six to nine months after the G700; it’s exempted from many of the flight tests the larger sibling completed thanks to systems commonality. Burns noted five test aircraft were built for the G700 certification program and only two for the G800. “We've done all the heavy lifting on the 700,” he said. “I would hope that we can get G800 certification in the early part of 2024.”
Following those approvals, Gulfstream will “move right into G400” certification, Burns said. Four test aircraft are in that program. The company by then will have certified the G500, G600, G700, and G800—all since 2018. “That allows us to show the commonality of the airplanes with the regulators,” which should smooth the G400’s entry to service, he said.
Burns recounted a 2018 meeting with the EASA and FAA, in which the company asked for “the most stringent way that certifying airplane would be so that on the same day we can get EASA and FAA certification.” Since then, he said, “we've been endeavoring to do exactly what they asked us to do, and our intent is to get simultaneous certification of the airplanes and our production certificate.”
But, Burns added, “We're not the judge or the jury, so they get to decide when we finish.”
That G700 and 800 are on view this week at Gulfstream’s EBACE 2023 static display (Static AD_08), along with the entire lineup of in-production models: the G280, G500, G600, and G650/ER.