Graham Warwick/SAVANNAH

Gulfstream is to improve its GIV business jet. Plans will be unveiled in September at the Farnborough air show in the UK .

The Savannah-based company's chief operating officer Bill Boisture says the improvements will focus on reliability and maintainability. Some avionics and systems developed for the ultra-long- range GV will also be incorporated, he says, and there will be a "marginal" increase in range.

"The aircraft goes far enough, fast enough and with enough comfort, but we want to make it cheaper to operate," Boisture says.

One goal is to increase despatch reliability from its current level of around 99.6% by improving systems reliability.

Gulfstream has no plans to launch development of a new aircraft in the near future. "We see nothing on the horizon in propulsion or aerodynamics that will move [the competition] dramatically away from us at our price/performance point," Boisture says. Instead of higher performance, he says, customers are asking for lower operating costs.

The company is ignoring customer requests to build a "super mid-size" replacement for the GII. "That is a very crowded market," says Boisture. Gulfstream is "thinking about" a supersonic business jet, and is believed to be in talks with Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, but "-there are still a lot of technical and financial questions to be answered", he cautions. He adds, however: "If someone is going to do a supersonic business jet, we will be involved."

Source: Flight International