The past 48 hours has been a blur!
The adventure started 0814h Monday morning, when four other aviation journalists and myself were whisked away by Gulfstream, care of media relations chief Robert Baugniet, on a G550 (NG550GA) time machine from Washington Dulles Airport (IAD) non-stop to Tel Aviv (TLV) for the rollout of Gulfstream's new G250 super midsize business jet the next day.
Gulfstream builds the G250 and its two other mid-cabin jets, the G150 and the G200, in partnership with Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI). IAI constructs the aircraft at its facilities at the Ben Gurion Airport in Lod, Israel (about 15 miles east of Tel Aviv) and flies the green machines to Gulfstream's completion plant in Dallas, Texas, for the interiors and paint.
Below is slideshow of some pictures from the rollout, as well as an IAI plant tour, which included the government-owned company's Bedek Aviation, electronic warfare and unmanned aircraft operations. I also stuck in some shots of the view from my 10th floor room at the Tel Aviv Hilton.
Below that is a video I took of the powered-on rollout, followed by an interview I did with Gulfstream mid-cabin programs research and development director, Mark Kohler, discussing some of selling features of the $24 million G250. Please excuse the wind noise!
Eighteen hours after arriving in Israel, we were back on the G550 enroute to IAD. Total time of the round trip was 40h, with approximately 22h spent on the G550, a time made very productive with the broadband multi-link service which gave us connectivity from IAD to Rome on the way out, and from Rome all the way back to IAD on the return leg.
Thanks to Robert Baugniet and Gulfstream for the opportunity to cover the event.