Gulfstream G650 edges closer to certification

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Gulfstream's G650, which saw its flight test programme disrupted by the 2 April fatal accident involving aircraft 6002, has completed a number of flight-test milestones on its way to anticipated US Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency type certification later this year, and service entry in 2012.

The Savannah, Georgia-based airframer said that as of 16 July the four Rolls-Royce BR725-powered aircraft in the test programme had accumulated more than 1,760h over more than 535 flights.

"We're on track and moving steadily toward certification later this year," said Pres Henne, senior vice-president, programs, engineering and test, Gulfstream.

gulfstream g650, gulfstream
 © Gulfstream

Aircraft 6004 - the first Gulfstream test aircraft to have a fully outfitted interior, finished certification testing of the aircraft's water and waste systems, its traffic collision avoidance system and its enhanced ground proximity warning system. Aircraft number 6003 has completed certification dry-air testing for the wing and cowl ice protection systems.

The aircraft have also completed several rounds of company testing ahead of FAA evaluations.

Following the April crash, the ultra-large cabin jet was grounded by Gulfstream, and only resumed flight testing on 28 May.

Meanwhile, the first production Gulfstream G280, manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries in Tel Aviv, recently arrived at the company's completions centre in Dallas, ahead of planned delivery later this year.