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Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. has announced that the fourth Gulfstream G600 aircraft completed its debut flight just over six weeks after the third aircraft, further cementing confidence in the G600 program.
The G600 departed Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport at 6:50 p.m. During the one-hour and 18-minute flight, the aircraft climbed to a maximum altitude of 51,000 feet/15,545 metres and reached a maximum airspeed of Mach .925. The aircraft landed back in Savannah at 8:08 p.m., local time.
“To have four first flights and fly more than 570 hours in less than six months is a remarkable achievement,” said Dan Nale, senior vice-president, programs, engineering and test, Gulfstream. “The rapid maturity of this program is due to the work we did before the flying even started–the strategic planning, the research, the lab development–combined with the success we’ve had in the similar G500 program. Thanks to our concurrent flight-test programs, we can apply lessons learned from the more mature G500 program to the G600, resulting in a more streamlined certification effort.”
The fifth G600 test aircraft was recently delivered to the Savannah completions centre, where it will be transformed into a fully outfitted production aircraft. During flight test the aircraft will be used to validate interior elements and ensure the successful integration of aircraft systems with the passenger experience.
To date, the G600 program’s four test aircraft have accumulated more than 130 flights.
Gulfstream is on schedule to receive Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) type certification for the G600 in 2018, with customer deliveries scheduled for later in the year. As previously announced, the all-new, award-winning G500 is on schedule to achieve FAA type certification and enter service in the fourth quarter of this year.