Timing could not be better: right at the start in Geneva of the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE), Gulfstream Aerospace celebrates the first flight of its new G500 on 18 May. The aircraft is part of Gulfstream’s new family of clean-sheet aircraft, the G500 and G600, and the first of the two to begin flight tests. Not very coincidentally, Gulfstream today also announced the delivery of the 500th built Gulfstream G550 to its US customer.
The G500 took off at 10:39 hrs local time from Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport, with Gulfstream experimental test pilots Scott Martin and Kevin Claffy at the controls. Flight Test engineer Bill Osborne provided on-board support.
The aircraft climbed to an initial altitude of 10,500 feet/3,200 meters and reached a maximum altitude of 15,000 ft/4,572 m. During the 2-hour-and-16-minute flight, the crew exercised all primary flight control systems; evaluated handling qualities in takeoff and landing configurations; performed a simulated approach and go-around; and checked all systems using the flight deck touchscreen controllers. The aircraft achieved a maximum air speed of 194 knots. It landed back in Savannah at 12:55 hrs local time.
The G500 flight-test program consists of five aircraft, including a fully outfitted production aircraft that will allow the company to test all the interior elements and complete integration of the aircraft systems with the passenger experience.
The type is expected to receive type certification from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency in 2017. It is slated to enter service in 2018.
Source: Gulfstream Aerospace
Featured image: Rotate! (Image © Gulfstream Aerospace)