Gulfstream's flagship business jet - the G650 - has been granted full type certification by the US Federal Aviation Administration, clearing the way for the US airframer to deliver the first ultra-long range business jet before the end of the year.
The approvals come within days of the G650's smaller super midsize G280 stablemate securing final approval from the US and Israel. Gulfstream, based in Savannah, Georgia, has received more than 200 orders for the Mach 0.925 G650 to date and the backlog for the $65-million aircraft is five years.
The 18-seat, Rolls-Royce BR725-powered G650 is fitted with a full three-axis, fly-by-wire system and an advanced flight deck with four 14-inch displays and a head-up display. It is fitted with enhanced and synthetic vision as standard.
The aircraft will carry eight passengers and a crew of four on nonstop legs of 7,000nm (13,000km). "The G650 is a superlative aircraft, with the most technologically advanced flight deck in business aviation and the largest, most comfortable cabin in its class," says Gulfstream president Larry Flynn.
Gulfstream unveiled the G650 in March 2008 and the aircraft made its first flight in November the following year. Seven aircraft were involved in the flight-test programme, accumulating almost 3,900h during 1,181 flights. The second test aircraft - S/N 6002 - was destroyed in a fatal accident during flight-testing in Roswell, New Mexico, in April last year and investigations are still underway to determine the cause of this crash.
Meanwhile. Gulfstream's large-cabin, long-range G550 has been granted South African certification. "The country accounts for 24% of the Gulfstream fleet in Africa," says the airframer. "Having this certification is important to our growing customer base because it streamlines the registration process for our South African operators."