NBAA: Gulfstream high speed Atlantic crossing stuck in holding pattern

Washington DC
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Gulfstream says it has completed the "fastest ultra-long-range flight ever flown by a business jet" with its fourth G650 test aircraft, s/n 6004 (here at the show on static display). The company says the test flight, which was limited to a closed track pattern over the Atlantic Ocean due to not yet having RVSM approval, simulated a 5,000nm trip across the Atlantic and back at M0.90. Trip time was 9h and 45 minutes.

"There are a limited set of aircraft that can go 5,000nm unrefueled, and I don't think any have gone M0.9," says Pres Henne, Gulfstream senior vice president, programs, engineering and test, of the "record-breaking" flight.

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 © Gulfstream

S/N 004, the outfitted with full interior (see associated story), had flown only 12h including 7h with a fully installed interior, says Joe Lombardo, president of Gulfstream Aerospace. Takeoff weight for the trip was 99,538lb (45,150kg), just 62lb under the maximum gross takeoff weight of 99,600lb. The design will allow the G650 to use airports like Teterboro and Aspen, which have 100,000lb takeoff weight limits.

The Atlantic speed flight carried a crew of six flying a pattern in an offshore warning area in 200nm racetrack pattern with 70mi turns flown at 12 degree bank angle. Temperature during the flight was close to worst case ISA conditions at ISA+7, says Gulfstream.