Though it now has the lucky number "8" in its name, chance has nothing to do with the carefully engineered ­formula for success in Gulfstream's new G280 super-midsize, and the latest performance figures for the business jet support the hypothesis.

Set for entry into service with customers in 2012, following certification by US, European and Israeli authorities later this year, the Honeywell HTF7250G-powered twinjet, formerly known as the G250, has met and exceeded its launch specifications, based on testing of the three pre-production aircraft taking part in the certification program.

The Savannah, Georgia-based manufacturer plans to put the first production aircraft, SN004 - currently at the company's mid-cabin completions center in Dallas, Texas, for interior completion and paint - into service following the type's certification later this year.

Gulfstream rebranded the $24 million, 10-passenger replacement for the G200 in July, saying the move was "prompted by the company's sensitivity to the varied cultures of its international customer base." As Flight International has previously reported, the number "250" can be translated into Mandarin as "stupid" or "idiotic". The number "8" meanwhile is associated with good fortune. The company revealed today that it has demonstrated a 367km (198nm) increase in the G280's maximum range, from 6,297km to 6,667km, while flying at the long-range cruise speed of M0.80, carrying four passengers and National Business Aviation Administration instrument flight rules fuel reserves. The manufacturer ­also demonstrated that the G280's take-off distance (balanced field length) at maximum take-off weight has been cut by 64m (210ft), from 1,512m to 1,448m.

Source: Flight Daily News