Gulfstream nears certification for G500

A supplier issue that was partly blamed for pushing back the certification schedule for the Gulfstream G500 has been resolved, the manufacturer says.

The large cabin business jet has entered the final phase of flight tests for airworthiness approval from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Gulfstream says.

The fourth G500 to enter the flight test fleet is now involved in function and reliability testing, Gulfstream says.

The G500 programme is on track to achieve certification and first delivery later this year, Gulfstream says. That schedule is consistent with the company’s original timeline, but represents a slight delay from a plan to accelerate certification to late 2017.

In October, Gulfstream announced that the G500 would enter service with a maximum range of 5,200nm at long-range cruise speed, or 200nm than advertised.

“G500 certification includes additional testing required for the enhanced performance we announced at NBAA and is anticipated in early 2018,” Gulfstream says.

Gulfstream parent General Dynamics also explained another reason for the delay on a third quarter earnings call. One supplier had fallen behind schedule for complying with certification requirements for the European Aviation Safety Agency, General Dynamics chief financial officer Jason Aiken said on the late October earnings call.

“We continue to work EASA certification in concert with FAA certification. This has been our stated plan and supports our delivery schedule. That said, please remember that EASA certification typically follows FAA certification even when pursued concurrently,” Gulfstream tells FlightGlobal.

So far, five G500s have logged more than 4,250 flight hours on 1,175 flights.

A slightly larger variant, the G600, has recorded nearly 1,400 flight hours on more than 360 flights. The G600 also is scheduled to be certificated and delivered later this year.

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