NBAA: VIDEO & PICTURES - Inside the new Gulfstream flagship

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Gulfstream yesterday gave a glimpse of the interior of its new top-end jet, the G650. It is the first time the manufacturer has fitted a full passenger cabin in a test aircraft.

However, only selected media and customers are able to see inside the ultra-long range, ultra-large cabin jet, the fourth of five test aircraft. It is being parked outside the Signature fixed base operation at the Peachtree DeKalb airport, opposite the static display, for the duration of the show.

The airframer says the cabin design - which incorporates electric seats and what Gulfstream says are the industry's lowest cabin altitude and "unmatched sound levels" - will "serve as a platform for the evolution" of Gulfstream products. "We will look at what makes sense to roll into the G550 and G450 and that process is underway," says Pres Henne, senior vice president of programs, engineering and test.

gulfstream g650, billypix
gulfstream g650 interior, billypix
 © Gulfstream

The cabin has been designed by Gulfstream's new interior design department, which was set up two and a half years ago at the birth of the G650 program, and includes more "international" design cues, reflecting Gulfstream's now 50% non-North American customer base, says Henne.

Twelve basic floorplans are being offered, and while customers can choose their own design details, Gulfstream expects 80% of purchasers to select one of the templates.

Gulfstream has stuck to its trademark oval windows on the G650 following market research. "Our customers said: 'Whatever you do, do not get rid of the classic windows,'" says Henne. The windows - which are 16% bigger than the G550's - "drove the design of the aircraft's taller, wider fuselage, allowing Gulfstream to raise the windows 3.4in (8.63cm) for optimum viewing by seated passengers," says Gulfstream.

For the first time in a Gulfstream aircraft, two of the cabin's standard seats are electrically operated and feature heated back and base cushions and back massage. The cabin management system can be operated by an iPod touch, allowing passengers to control lighting, temperature, window shades and entertainment equipment.

The G650 first flew in late 2009 and the test program is approaching 2,000 hours with certification targeted for 2012. Gulfstream has a backlog of 200 aircraft with first positions for new customers in 2017.