Gulfstream Aerospace says it has completed several new milestones en route to the scheduled US and European certification this year of its new G650 ultra-large cabin, ultra-long range business jet.
As of mid-July, the four aircraft in the flight-test programme had accumulated more than 1,760 flying hours between them, over more than 535 flights.
“We’re on track and moving steadily toward certification later this year,” says Pres Henne, senior vice-president of programs, engineering and test for the company. “We’ve accomplished a great deal in the past two months. The aircraft continue to perform extremely well.”
Savannah, Georgia-based Gulfstream says that aircraft number 6004, the first test aircraft to have a fully outfitted interior, has now finished certification testing of the G650’s water and waste system, its traffic collision avoidance system (TCAS) and its enhanced ground proximity warning system (EGPWS). Aircraft number 6003 has completed certification dry-air testing for the wing and cowl ice protection systems.
In addition, the four flight-test aircraft have “accomplished several rounds of company testing” in preparation for evaluations by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as part of the certification process. Aircraft 6004 was used for hydraulics overpressure and satellite communications testing, as well as testing of the health- and trend-monitoring system.
Hydraulics and brakes were tested using the first flight-test aircraft, number 6001, while 6003 performed environmental control system, cabin pressure control system and oxygen system tests.
The Rolls-Royce BR725-powered business jet offers “the longest range at the fastest speed in its class”, according to Gulfstream. The aircraft can travel 7,000nm (12,964km) at Mach 0.85 and has a maximum operating speed of Mach 0.925.
The programme is recovering from the disruption caused by the fatal crash on 2 April of Aircraft 6002. The test fleet was subsequently grounded by Gulfstream and flight-testing resumed on 28 May.
LAO AIRLINES, the national carrier of Laos, has signed a contract with Airbus for the purchase of two, single-aisle A320 aircraft, becoming a new Airbus customer. According to the manufacturer, the aircraft will be operated on routes linking the capital Vientiane to key destinations in South-East Asia, including Bangkok and Singapore. The aircraft will be powered by CFM International CFM56 engines and will feature a two-class layout seating 126 passengers in economy and 16 in business class.