Gulfstream has begun simulated flight tests on the G600 Iron Bird ground rig in preparation for the large-cabin, long-range business jet's maiden sortie this year.
During the 30min "flight", the Iron Bird – housed at the airframer’s Savannah, Georgia headquarters – simulated taxi, take-off and landing, says Gulfstream. It also performed simulated manoeuvres and transitions at different altitudes and airspeeds, says the manufacturer.
“This first flight sets in motion the testing and validation required for the G600’s actual first flight,” says Dan Nale, Gulfstream’s senior vice-president for programmes, engineering and test. “With the Iron Bird, we can confirm the characteristics of the system components, improve the integration maturity, make modifications and provide those benefits in a lab environment, all while on the ground and still in the design stage, to the benefit of the flight-test aircraft.”
Gulfstream says the first G600 flight-test model and structural test article are in production in Savannah. The 6,200nm (11,500km)-range Pratt & Whitney Canada PW815GA-powered twin is scheduled to enter service in 2019 – a year behind its shorter-range stablemate, the G500.