The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has certificated the Gulfstream G350, clearing the mid-range business jet to be registered in 25 European Union nations. The aircraft was certificated by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on 1 November 2004, and is expected to enter service in the third quarter of this year. The milestone marks another step in a hectic period for Gulfstream, which is due to deliver the first G450, the aircraft's longer range sister-ship, later this month. The G450 obtained its EASA type certificate in November last year and its FAA certification in August 2004.

Gulfstream also expects to round off the first half of the year with the first flight of the G150 in May. Manufactured by Israel Aircraft Industries in Tel Aviv, the wide-cabin, high-speed business jet was rolled out in January this year and is set for certification in the first quarter of 2006, with initial deliveries in the third quarter.

Including all models, Gulfstream holds a "funded" backlog of firm orders and commitments worth $4.65 billion and options, or an "unfunded" backlog worth around $2.19 billion. The total order backlog is valued at $6.84 billion. Although it cannot provide details of new orders taken so far this year, until General Dynamics releases its first quarter results later this month, Gulfstream indicates further sustained growth following the last year's significant ramp-up in business. This saw the orderbook expand with 95 new aircraft in 2004 versus 59 in 2003. It also saw productivity jump with 78 deliveries of "green" aircraft against 74 the year before.

* Gulfstream is claiming a new world speed record over an established course after an ultra-long-range G550 business jet flew from Honolulu to Sydney in less than 9 ½h on 11 March. Gulfstream has submitted an application to the National Aeronautic Association to confirm the new city-pair record which was established en route to the Australian air show. The G550 flew 8,415km (4,548nm) at an average cruise speed of Mach 0.85 and landed 9h and 25m later in Sydney.



Source: Flight International