Gulfstream has launched the G650, a clean-sheet aircraft the US company calls the biggest, fastest and furthest-flying purpose-designed business jet yet.

Joining Gulfstream’s product line-up above the G550, which will continue in production, the G650 offers a 7,000nm (13,000km) range at Mach 0.85, a maximum cruise speed of M0.925 and the largest cabin in its class, the company says.

The G650 offers the same cabin cross-section as the Bombardier Global Express XRS, but longer ranges at higher speeds (more details). The new Gulfstream will also become the fastest civil aircraft in production, beating Cessna’s Mach 0.92 Citation X.

G650 in flight-1
                                                                                                  © Gulfstream

First flight is scheduled for the second half of 2009, with US and European certification to follow in 2011 and entry into service in 2012. Completed price will be in the $58.5 million for aircraft delivered in 2012, rising to $58.5 million from 2013..

“Gulfstream customers tell us they’d like to see more size, range and speed,” says Press Henne, senior vice-president for programmes, engineering and test.

Design requirements included a bigger, quieter, more comfortable and reliable cabin; a range of 7,000nm at M0.85 and 5,000nm at M0.90; and a maximum take-off weight no greater than 45,360kg (100,000lb) for access to key airports like New York’s Teterboro.

The G650 has a metal fuselage and wing, but with bonded fuselage panels for fewer parts and increased use of composites, including the horizontal stabilizer, elevator and rudder, as well winglets, fairings, cabin floor and aft bulkhead.

The G650 has an advanced high-speed wing, with greater area than the G550's and higher sweep, but as with previous Gulfstreams there are no leading-edge devices and all fuel is in the wing. Spirit AeroSystems will supply the wing, while Fokker will provide the empehhage and bonded fuselage panels.

Gulfstream’s first fly-by-wire aircraft, the G650 has an evolution of the PlaneView integrated flightdeck now fitted across the company’s large-cabin business jets. The new aircraft will have a common type rating with the G550 (more details).

The G650 is powered by 16,100lb thrust (71.6kN) Rolls-Royce BR725 engines, 4.6% more powerful than the BR710s powering the G550. A new swept-blade fan reduces fuel burn and noise, while a new combustor reduces emissions (more details).

“The cabin was the starting point,” says Henne. Taller, wider and longer than the G550’s, the cabin has 38% more volume and 30% more floor area (more details). Cabin altitude – 4,850ft at the G650’s 51,000ft ceiling – is the lowest in its class, he says.

The Gulfstream-signature oval windows are 16% larger and there are two more of them – eight per side. The distance between windows is increased to provide a greater seat pitch. The cabin entry door is larger and there are two new large overwing exits per side.

Cabin systems, including waste, water, power and lighting, are designed with fail-operational redundancy, which Henne describes as a “convulsion” in the industry that will be a “tremendous advantage for the traveller”.

The G650 will be assembled in new manufacturing facility at Gulfstream’s Savannah, Georgia headquarters, The new facility has the capacity to build 90 aircraft a year on two lines, but will begin at 35-45 a year. Gulfstream will start taking orders in April.

G650 flying sunset
                                                                                                      © Gulfstream


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