Gulfstream G650 Flies At Mach 0.925 <


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Gulfstream G650 Flies At Mach 0.925

By Steve Hall

May 4, 2010 — The Gulfstream G650 flew at its proposed Mmo of 0.925 for the first time on Sunday. The ultra-large-cabin, ultra-long-range flight-test aircraft (S/N 6001) took off from Savannah at 1:38 p.m. with Gulfstream’s Chief Test Pilot John O’Meara and Senior Experimental Test Pilot Tom Horne at the controls.

The aircraft reached its top speed of Mach 0.925 while at 42,500 feet. The business jet returned to Savannah at 3:12 p.m.

“The G650 excelled at its top speed of Mach 0.925,” O’Meara said. ”Even at near the speed of sound, the aircraft provides stable and precise handling characteristics.


"It’s very responsive to pilot input with fantastic maneuver capabilities. Turns can be initiated and completed without any onset of buffet. The engine performance is extremely smooth. At the conditions flown today, the entire operation was flawless. The aircraft’s capabilities and state-of-the-art technologies make it very easy to fly and will enhance our customers’ experience with their G650.”

Gulfstream announced the G650 program on March 13, 2008, indicating that the clean-sheet aircraft – Gulfstream’s first since the GII – would be capable of flying Mach 0.925, making it the world’s fastest transport-category aircraft in the sky.

The G650 rolled out under its own power – another Gulfstream first – on Sept. 30, 2009. Its first flight was on Nov. 25, 2009. The second flight-test aircraft – S/N 6002 – followed on Feb. 25. As of mid-April, the two aircraft have completed nearly 50 flights and approximately 140 flight-test hours.

The five G650 aircraft involved in the flight-test program are expected to perform an estimated 1,800 hours of testing. Each aircraft is used for a specific series of tests with S/N 6001 focused on performance and flight controls, S/N 6002 on systems and S/N 6003 on avionics, including communication and navigation. The two production aircraft in the test program – S/N 6004 and S/N 6005 – will be used to evaluate interior systems and be part of the reduced vertical separation minimum (RVSM) testing.


S/N 6003 has been transferred to the Flight Test department for outfitting in preparation for its first flight, while 6004 and 6005 are in final production and major assembly, respectively. The G650 offers the longest range at the fastest speed in its class. Powered by best-in-class Rolls-Royce BR725 engines, the business jet will be capable of traveling 7,000 nautical miles (12,964 km) at Mach 0.85. The aircraft is expected to receive certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in 2011. It is on schedule to enter service in 2012.

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