Avionics update paces G280 final certification

Washington DC
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Gulfstream Aerospace says an avionics software update is the chief item standing between its new G280 super midsize business jet and the global market.

The company announced today that the Honeywell HTF7250G-powered twinjet, an early adopter of the new Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion integrated avionics system, gained US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) provisional certification.

Provisional certification will allow Gulfstream to continue producing the aircraft in expectation of final certification and entry into service this summer. The G280, which is built by Gulfstream partner Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) in Tel Aviv, gained Israeli provisional certification in December.

"The principal remaining item required before full type certificates are issued by the FAA and [Israeli authorities] is an update to the software for the aircraft's state-of-the-art avionics," Gulfstream says.

Pro Line Fusion will first enter service either on the G280 or on Bombardier's Global Vision update for the Global 5000 and Global 6000 business jets, which are also awaiting final certification. Transport Canada certificated the Global Vision flightdeck in June 2011, but the aircraft itself has not yet gained certification by the FAA or other authorities.

Bombardier had expected to certificate the Global models in late 2011, with first customer deliveries early in 2012. The company during its fourth quarter earnings call on 1 March said the hold up on Global Vision is not due to the aircraft itself, but rather is related to interior completions.

Gulfstream says three G280 flight test aircraft in the test programme have flown more than 1,845h during more than 685 flights, while the fatigue flight test article (F1) has completed more than 14,300 or 40,000 cycles in the accelerated life test.

The company says it will produce 10-15 of its mid-cabin aircraft (G150s and G280s) this year, compared to 102 of its large-cabin models (G450, G550 and G650).