AIN’s Matt Thurber recently had the chance to get acquainted with the G650 on a flight from Gulfstream’s headquarters in Savannah, Georgia to Columbia, South Carolina and back.
For the complete pilot report, please visit: https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/business-aviation/2017-10-08/pilot-report-gulfstream-g650er
When the G650 was launched in 2008, it represented a unique transition for Gulfstream, into the realm of fly-by-wire flight controls. The G650 is unique because it’s likely the only FBW Gulfstream that will ever feature the traditional yoke-operated flight controls. The new G500 and G600 are equipped with sidesticks, the control of choice for most fly-by-wire designs.
There are additional benefits besides the weight savings of computers and wiring versus cables, pushrods and hydraulics. Fly-by-wire allows engineers to extract more performance from the airplane while tuning the ride for passenger comfort. Built-in envelope protection helps pilots keep out of dangerous corners. Flight control surfaces can be manipulated by the computers to continually optimize aerodynamics for minimum drag, and in the G650’s case this amounts to a one percent drag reduction.