GULFSTREAM chairman Ted Forstmann says that orders for the Gulfstream V long-range business jet "...will reach break-even by the end of the year". Gulfstream's break-even point is believed to be around 60 aircraft, although the company will admit only to having a GV order backlog "in excess of $2 billion".

Gulfstream rolled out the first GV at its Savannah, Georgia, plant on 22 September, five days ahead of schedule, and plans to fly it in November. BMW Rolls Royce says that the first GV's two BR710-48 engines are ready for flight.

The company is moving to capitalise on its lead over Bombardier, which plans to fly the rival Global Express in September 1996. A four-aircraft test programme is planned, leading to US certification in October 1996 and European certification in December 1966. Global Express certification is scheduled for March 1998.

The first customer GV will be delivered to the completion centre in the fourth quarter of 1996, according to Gulfstream vice-chairman Bryan Moss.

Sales are expected to pick up momentum with the roll out of the GV, says Gulfstream Aircraft president Bill Boisture.

Forstmann believes that several potential customers, including some governments, have held off deciding on a long-range business jet until they can view the actual aircraft. The first delivery slot available is in the second quarter of 1998, says Boisture.

The company built 24 GIVs in 1994, and will build 24 GIVs and four GVs this year, says Gulfstream Aerospace President Fred Breidenbach. Annual production is planned to rise to 42 aircraft (a mix of GIVs and GVs) by 1997, he adds.

Source: Flight International