Gulfstream Aerospace (booths 3425, 3552, static display) is fielding 200 staff for this year’s show, as well as adding an extra demonstrator purely for prospects. “Our experience at last year’s show proved that it is worth us bringing a separate, private aircraft along. We were so busy,” says Robert Baugniet, director of corporate communications. It is a big year for the OEM.

NBAA has given one of its “Meritorious Service to Aviation” awards to Bryan Moss, Gulfstream’s president emeritus. Ahead of this year’s convention, the Savannah Georgia-based manufacturer was adamant it was not going to announce a new jet at NBAA, but would be focusing on its new technology and product developments. There has been heavy recent media speculation that the OEM is about to unveil a larger-cabin, longer-range derivative of its G550, which would compete with Bombardier’s Global Express on cabin volume.


The rumors have been sparked by last month’s opening of the first of two phases of its new $400 million 625,500ft2 (58,000m2) service center in Savannah, which is more than twice the size of its predecessor. The building includes a 136,200ft2 hangar that can accommodate 18 large jets, repair shops and fuel, as well as employee facilities. The second phase is scheduled for completion in 2009 and will add an extra 282,300ft2 of maintenance space.

According to Joe Lombardo, Gulfstream’s president, the extra space is needed to cater for “up to 40 aircraft on any given day”. The company has also appointed Greg Collett director of new product development and manufacturing operations and Dawn Wingfield as the program administrator for initial phase type certification for the Gulfstream Designated Certification Office (GDCO). The GDCO oversees all organizational designation authorization activities, including efforts to obtain production, type and supplemental type certificates from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The OEM also trademarked several new model names this summer, including the G600 and G675 and the G325, G375, G425, G475, G525 and G575 (which might be model names for its current line of large-cabin jets outfitted with its new synthetic vision system/enhanced vision system II (SVS/EVS II), expected to be certificated later this year).

Gulfstream is also keen to promote its progressive technology programs – both its updated EVS II and its advanced flying controls. At last year’s Farnborough air show in the UK the company announced that its advanced flight controls demonstrator, a modified GV, would be testing fly-by- ire, fly-by-light and even "fly-by-wireless" technologies. "This is a research and development effort to build, test and understand advanced flight controls," says Pres Henne, senior vice- resident programs, engineering and test.

Additionally, in collaboration with training partner FlightSafety International, the manufacturer is expanding its Total Technical Training (TTT or “Triple T”) collaborative maintenance-training program to Long Beach, California. This announcement comes less than a year after the two companies announced the expansion of TTT to Dallas, the first program expansion outside Gulfstream’s Savannah headquarters.

“The Triple T program is a classic example of how two organizations can work together to create something more effective and valuable than if they attempted it on their own,” says Larry Flynn, president, product support. FlightSafety plans to add a convertible G350/G450/G500/G550 simulator in the first quarter of 2008 to augment its existing GII, GIII and GIV simulators.

The two companies expect to have the Long Beach TTT program fully operational by June 2008. The company has also now enrolled 93% of all in-service Gulfstream aircraft into its webbased maintenance tracking system “ has given operators the freedom to access their maintenance information anytime,” says Flynn. The company is also continuing to spend on developing new technology. Gulfstream can afford to invest in R&D. Financially the airframer is kicking. General Dynamics’ aerospace division, which includes Gulfstream and its support arm, General Dynamics Aviation Services (GDAS), took $1.2 billion in sales in the second quarter 2007, which is up more than 13% from last year.

Earnings increased to $200 million, a 20% leap, and the backlog stood at more than 10 billion, over 40% more than at the same time in 2006. The company delivered 72 aircraft in the second quarter this year, up from 55 for the same period in 2006. According to the OEM, this year’s second quarter was “the best quarter from an intake perspective that Gulfstream has ever experienced”.

With 51% of sales coming from international customers, the regions that saw the highest growth were the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. Gulfstream has said that production will increase next year to keep up with demand. Gulfstream has achieved several milestones this year and celebrates several anniversaries. Its G150 earned EASA certification in July, 18 months after gaining its Israeli and US tickets. The manufacturer says it wanted to ensure it received the European Aviation Safety Agency rating with no limitations or compulsory configuration changes, which it did. Gulfstream also says it has orders from customers in Europe for six G150s.

In July the G550 celebrated its fifth anniversary. The maiden flight, on 18 July 2002, lasted 5h 1min and is still the longest first flight of any new Gulfstream model. Introduced in 2000, the G550 features the PlaneView cockpit, which includes Honeywell’s Primus Epic avionics suite, and Gulfstream’s EVS – the first pilot vision-enhancing equipment to be FAA certificated.


June saw two more anniversaries. Gulfstream delivered its first large cabin, long-range Gulfstream IV on 8 June 1987. Certificated in more than 20 countries, the GIV-series aircraft are used by individuals, corporations and governments. And on 30 June it celebrated the 10th anniversary of the entry into service of the Gulfstream V.

The first ultra-long-range business jet aircraft to enter the business aviation market, the GV was delivered to its first customer on 30 June 1997. The GV as succeeded by today’s ultralong- range Gulfstream G550 and G500 business jets, which share the same pilot type ratings, numerous on-board systems and similar ramp profiles. Finally, despite the fact NBAA 2007 is on home turf, the company’s staff travel plans to he convention reflect one of the many reasons business aviation is booming. According Baugniet, it is quicker for him to drive across state than fly to the show – “unless we’re in one of the company demonstrators”, he says.

Source: Flight Daily News