The next generation of Gulfstream jets took a major step forward earlier this week, as the first G600 made its maiden flight. This is one of the manufacturer’s pair of eagerly-awaited ‘optimised’ long range jets, its first new aircraft since the flagship G650 was certified in 2012.
The new $55 million G600 took its first flight from Savannah-Hilton Head International airport at 13.50 local time, making a 2 hour 53 minute flight. Gulfstream president Mark Burns described the maiden flight as ‘flawless’ and a ‘milestone for us and our customers’. (And if you’re wondering about its colour, here you can find out why test aircraft are green).
The G600 is capable of a range of 6,200 nm and is part of a pair with the shorter range $44 million G500 (5,000 nm), which is further ahead in the certification process, having taken its own maiden flight in May 2015. The two were announced in October 2014 just prior to NBAA and are set to replace the G550, which will then be phased out. Read more: Gulfstream unveils the optimised G500 & G600.
While neither the G600 or G500 can compete with the mighty G650 on range – as it can fly up to 7,500 nm in its extended range format (the G650ER) – they are its equal in speed, travelling at a maximum of Mach 0.925, just below the speed of sound.
In outward appearance both will resemble the G650, with Gulfstream’s iconic wide oval windows and a cabin that seats up to 19 passengers. And a number of enhancements promise to make the G500 and G600 the most technically-efficient and advanced of any business jet.
These include new Pratt & Whitney Canada PW800 turbofan engines – a big departure as Gulfstream have traditionally partnered with Rolls Royce – an innovative wing design, and cockpit enhancements including a touchscreen Symmetry Flight Deck and ‘active control sidesticks’ which allow the two pilots to work more seamlessly together than ever before.
The G600 is targeted for entry into service in 2018, with the G500 slightly earlier at the end of 2017. And as Gulfstream has never missed a target delivery date for a new aircraft in the past, we’re expecting the program to continue right on schedule.
While we wait for the G600 & G500, many Gulfstream jets are available for charter now, including the G650. Contact us or call our team 24/7 on +44 1747 642 777 for pricing and expert advice on the right aircraft for your flight.