Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. has announced that the final aircraft in the Gulfstream G600 flight-test program has flown for the first time. Outfitted with a complete interior, the aircraft serves as a cabin testbed to ensure a superior customer experience. The aircraft is the fifth to join the G600 flight-test program since it began on Dec. 17, 2016.
The G600 took off from Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport at 3:07 p.m. Tuesday. During the 2-hour and 55-minute flight, the aircraft reached an elevation of 51,000 feet at a speed of Mach 0.85.The aircraft landed back in Savannah at 6:02 p.m. local time.
“The goal of including a production aircraft in our flight-test program is to ensure we deliver the most functional, comfortable and reliable cabin environment for our customers,” said Gulfstream president Mark Burns.
“Our extensive testing will validate design and performance, so we can provide a cabin that exceeds expectations.”
Gulfstream will conduct repeated operations of all cabin systems to evaluate comfort, layout, noise, ergonomics, functionality, passenger interaction and appliance reliability.
To date, the G600 program’s five test aircraft have accumulated more than 180 flights and 790 flight hours.
“We now have 10 aircraft flying in our concurrent Gulfstream G500 and G600 flight-test programs,” Burns said. “That’s a remarkable achievement for business aviation and a first for the company. It reflects the priority we place on adhering to a long-term strategy, investing in research and development, leveraging our ground-based labs and ensuring consistent and steady progress in aircraft development.”
Gulfstream anticipates receiving Federal Aviation Administration type certification for the all-new G600 in 2018. Customer deliveries are scheduled for later that year.
The G500, which sells for $43.5 million, is expected to receive certification by both the Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency in the fourth quarter of this year, with deliveries beginning in early 2018.
The company anticipates receiving Federal Aviation Administration type certification for the all-new G600, which sports a price tag of $54.5 million, in 2018. Customer deliveries are scheduled to begin later that year.