Farnborough first news: Gulfstream readies fly-by-wire GV

Farnborough
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Gulfstream is preparing to fly a GV mod­ified as a fly-by-wire testbed as it readies technology for its next generation of business jet. It is also preparing to field the next step in enhanced and synthetic vision in its existing aircraft as it works with NASA to test sonic-boom reduction technology for a fut­ure supersonic business jet (SSBJ).

Fly-by-wire hardware and software has been installed in the GV for flight tests starting in August. Thales has supplied the flight-control computers and Parker and Smiths the electro-mechanical actuators. Industry sources say Gulfstream is to launch a new large-cabin business jet this year (Flight International, 25 April-1 May).

The company will introduce its second-generation enhanced vision system (EVS) in the second quarter of next year. The smaller, lighter infrared system, produced by Kollsman, will be standard in the G450 and G550. Gulfstream will also be the first manufacturer to offer a synthetic-vision system (SVS), which will be certificated next year and be fitted as standard in new aircraft. The Honeywell SVS uses a digital database to generate three-dimensional terrain displays.

NASA Dryden, meanwhile, is preparing for structural flight tests of Gulfstream's patented telescopic nose spike, designed to reduce the sonic boom of an SSBJ. The spike, which extends from 4.3m (14ft) to 7.3m to reduce shockwave overpressure intensity, has been installed on NASA's Boeing F-15 and will fly by the end of this month.