Floating in the Air, Gulfstream G700 Takes Off its Maiden Flight

Officially launching the flight-test programme for the G700, this flight is the next step forward in Gulfstream’s vision for the future

Issue: BizAvIndia 1/2020By Ayushee ChaudharyPhoto(s): By Gulfstream
MOMENTOUS OCCASION: GULFSTREAM G700’S SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF ITS FIRST FLIGHT

Gliding gracefully and majestically in the air almost like a swan in action, the all-new Gulfstream G700’s successful completion of its first flight was announced by the manufacturing company on February 14, 2020. Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, declared that the Gulfstream G700 made its first flight, demonstrating the programme’s maturity and officially launching the rigorous flight-test programme of the most spacious jet in the industry with the longest range at the fastest speeds.

Making its maiden flight on a 30/70 blend of sustainable aviation fuel, the G700 departed from Gulfstream Aerospace’s headquarters at Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport and made a landing two hours and 32 minutes later. The flight was piloted by Jake Howard and Eric Holmberg, with flight-test engineer Bill Osborne. With this flight, the flight-test programme has been also officially launched for the G700.

"The G700’s first flight is a momentous occasion and the next step forward in Gulfstream’s vision for the future, a vision that has been guided by the strategic leadership of our parent company, General Dynamics, and the innovation of the Gulfstream team," said Mark Burns, President, Gulfstream. "As the market leader, Gulfstream is moving the entire business-jet industry forward with advanced safety features, tomorrow’s technology, and a cabin purposefully designed to exceed our customers’ expectations for comfort."

In October 2019, the G700 was introduced as the new industry flagship with a full-scale cabin mock-up and an aircraft taxing under its own power. The programme includes five already manufactured flight-test aircraft and a structural test article that has completed load testing. It was dramatically unveiled on the eve of the annual National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Business Aviation Convention Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) held at the Las Vegas Convention Center and Henderson Executive Airport, making it a historical night to be remembered for the private aviation industry.

Being claimed as the tallest, widest and longest cabin jet aircraft in the industry, the $75 million jet has broken remarkable records. The three records were earlier held by the Bombardier Global 7500. The private aviation industry was certainly taken by storm when the model was revealed last year. Built on Gulfstream’s decades-long investment in research and development, the G700, the best ever in the ultra-long-range jets, has been called the harbinger of a new era for Gulfstream as well as that of the private aviation sector.

Ensuring the aircraft company’s success, the G700 comes with a leading range as well as high-speed capabilities to take the elite travelers around the world in limited time with the best of the luxurious experience in the air. The faster speeds that the aircraft offers, will allow customers more time, lower annual expenses for maintenance, parts and services, and shorter crew days for safer operations.

"The Gulfstream G700 takes the very best elements from our most innovative products and unites them with cutting-edge advances to create an all-new, advanced technology aircraft that redefines safety, comfort and the range at speed. This announcement is the biggest news in business aviation history and is the result of the investments General Dynamics made to develop Gulfstream technology for Gulfstream products," Burns had said during the launch last year, highlighting that the G700 is certainly raising the bar for the company as well as the industry.

A CABIN LIKE NO OTHER

With 20 Gulfstream panoramic oval windows, up to five living areas and capacity to seat 19 passengers or sleep 10 passengers, the G700 features the longest, widest and tallest cabin in the industry.

The aircraft also introduces many new interior differentiators, including an ultra-galley with over 10 feet of counter space and a crew compartment or passenger lounge; the industry’s only ultra-high-definition circadian lighting system; speaker less surround sound; and a master suite with shower. Innovating with the classapart, latest and technically advance design, the G700 cabin also lets the customer extend their personal as well as professional lifestyle without any hindrances. There is also a six-place dining or conference room. The panoramic oval windows enhance and promote the Gulfstream cabin experience which is not just the largest but is also the industry’s lowest cabin altitude, with 100 percent fresh air and a whisper-quiet cabin.

Amalgamating the proven ultra-long-range, speed, and performance with flight-deck innovation and cutting-edge cabin creation to offer customers an unprecedented aircraft experience, the Gulfstream G700 has also been called as the most spacious, best-per-forming aircraft in the business-jet industry.

EXQUISITE DESIGNS AND FLEXIBLE CONFIGURATIONS: WITH G700, YOU CAN CURATE YOUR IDEAL FLIGHT EXPERIENCE

G700 also adorns a large variety of cabin amenities that are sure to revolutionise the benefits of business jet travel. The advanced technology of thousands of white and amber LEDs recreate sunrise and sunset, gently coaxing passengers into their new time zone and greatly reducing the physical impact of traveling halfway around the world nonstop. Most of the design is integrated to make the optimum use of the space. The seats from the handcrafted collection convert into ergonomic beds enhancing the comfort further.

"Gulfstream has a long tradition of listening to our customers, and the G700 cabin is the evolution of that collaboration," said Burns earlier at the time of the launch. "Customers shared how much they value flexibility and comfort in the cabin, all without compromising the speed and range advantages they have come to expect from Gulfstream. The G700 delivers all that and more.

WORLD TOUR OF THE CABIN MOCK-UP

On February 4, 2020, Gulfstream had announced that the full-scale mock-up of the G700 cabin, including the Symmetry Flight Deck, had departed Savannah for a worldwide tour to let the customers have an opportunity of experiencing the new industry flagship G700 first-hand.

"We have been excited to show customers this amazing aircraft. The compelling combination of technology and cabin innovation raises the bar for the business-jet industry. Whether customers prioritise cabin size and flexibility, speed, range or flight-deck technology, there is no need to compromise because the G700 delivers all that and more," said Burns.

The G700 customer tour launches in Monterey, California, and will include Palm Beach, Florida, and return visits to Savannah before embarking on a European tour of Switzerland, France, and the U.K. this spring.

"THE G700’S FIRST FLIGHT IS A MOMENTOUS OCCASION AND THE NEXT STEP FORWARD IN GULFSTREAM’S VISION FOR THE FUTURE, A VISION THAT HAS BEEN GUIDED BY THE STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP OF OUR PARENT COMPANY, GENERAL DYNAMICS, AND THE INNOVATION OF THE GULFSTREAM TEAM." —MARK BURNS, PRESIDENT, GULFSTREAM

Boasting to have industry-leading fuel efficiency and powered by Rolls-Royce Pearl 700 engines and refined with Gulfstream-designed aerodynamics and an all-new winglet, the aircraft can fly at its highspeed cruise of Mach 0.90 for 6,400 nautical miles/11,853 kilometers or at its long-range cruise of Mach 0.85 for 7,500 nm/13,890 km. In comparison, the Bombardier Global 7500 has a range of 7,700 nm and can achieve speeds of Mach 0.92. The aircraft guarantees highperformance capabilities with excellent takeoff and landing performance and the ability to operate easily at weight-restricted, short runway and high-altitude airports.

The G700 also includes the Gulfstream Symmetry Flight Deck with the industry’s only electronically linked active control sidesticks, the most extensive use of touchscreen technology in business aviation, Gulfstream’s award-winning Predictive Landing Performance System, Gulfstream’s Enhanced Flight Vision System and Synthetic Vision on dual head-up displays. The system also provides the pilots with advanced warning of potential runway excursions so they can adjust approaches or go around.

"The G700 brings the best in the business together – the innovation of the G500 and G600 Symmetry Flight Deck and the legendary performance of the G650ER – and we are excited to deliver this exceptional aircraft to our customers," said Burns.

Result of extensive testing that included 14,000 hours in the lab and five different test vehicles, the G700’s cabin length is 56 feet and 11 inches, not including a 195-cubic-foot baggage area and it stands six feet and three inches high, measuring eight feet and two inches wide. In 2022, the company expects to start fulfilling orders to Qatar as well as Flexjet that was confirmed as the first North American customer. Qatar Airways was announced formally as the launch customer of the aircraft.