Gulfstream G700: Buyer’s and investor’s guide
Breaking city-pair speed records before it even reaches service, the Gulfstream G700 is one of the most highly anticipated aircraft of the past decade. Arriving into a business aviation market with some of the lowest inventory levels on record, the 7,500nm-range, Mach 0.925-capable jet is aiming to shape the next 10 years and beyond.
Gulfstream wants to offer an aircraft for every mission: that’s the inspiration behind the ‘next-generation’ fleet, according to Gulfstream president, Mark Burns. A fleet that includes the G500, G600, G700 and the newly announced G400 and G800. “The new Gulfstream fleet features all-new technology that enhances safety, efficiency, speed and cabin design,” Burns tells Corporate Jet Investor.
“With the G700 specifically, we designed the aircraft based on our customers’ stated desire to make a seamless transition from their lives on the ground to their aircraft. The G700 achieves that through a compelling combination of technology, cabin comfort, interior flexibility and space – the most spacious cabin in the industry, the largest galley, distinct living areas and the option of a private suite with bath.”
The ultra-long-range G700 is priced at a cool $75m. Despite the price being more expensive than other aircraft in its class, such as a Dassault 8X or Global 7500, Burns says: “We [Gulfstream] have seen great interest in and demand for the G700 from customers around the world.” Burns adds the jet “presents a unique advantage of cabin size combined with safety, technology, speed, range and fuel efficiency.”
As Burns mentioned, the G700 has the largest cabin of any aircraft in its class. The style is similar to that in the G650 series, however this one is 10ft (3m) longer. With a total length of nearly 57ft (17.4m) there is just room to park four average-sized cars or set up a cricket wicket.
The cabin can be configured to seat from 13 to 19 across five different living zones. Layouts include a lavatory opposite the aircraft entryway followed by a closet and a forward galley. This is built around a 10ft countertop, providing a space for crew to prepare meals. A three-place divan or optional crew rest area can be placed opposite.
A club-four area of single seats follows the galley before you arrive at the entertainment zone with a three-place divan and a 40-inch 4K monitor with immersive 3D sound. Aircraft connectivity comes from the Jet ConneX Ka-band Wi-Fi. Behind the lounge, there is a six-seat grouping for dining or business meetings.
Although the G700 offers a huge variety of cabin layouts there is one feature which makes it stand out as a true ultra-longe-range jet – the grand suite at the aft of the aircraft. The suite can be fitted with a curved-edge, queen-size bed and full-size dresser. The adjacent restroom features a stand-up closet, two windows and an optional stand-up shower.
Brad Harris, Dallas Jet, founder and CEO, has accumulated 11 type ratings for Gulfstream aircraft in his time as a corporate pilot and broker. He tells CJI he thinks Gulfstream has done a good job in judging the landscape of the industry into which it is launching the G700.
“They understand what the competition is, they understand what the need of the customer is and they’ve done a nice job with the G700, the G800, the G400… They’re all nice airplanes that have their place in the market,” says Harris.
The G700 is the comparison aircraft of the Bombardier Global 7500, according to Harris. “It is a true four or five cabin airplane, depending on if you want a crew rest up front or not. It’s a true 7,500nm airplane. I think the Symmetry cockpit is very well done and there is a consistency through the G700, the 800, the 400 and the 650.”
“They’ve thought through speed, thought through operational cost, they’ve thought through liability issues,” he says. Also, Harris notes that Gulfstream has somewhat unusually for the industry, outfitted one of the G700 test aircraft with full factory interior.
That means the test aircraft includes numerous other features Gulfstream is adding to improve the onboard experience. The G700 has a maximum cabin altitude of 4,850ft (1478m) even while the aircraft is at 51,000ft (15,545m). There are 20 of Gulfstream’s trademark oval-shaped windows to allow for natural lighting. The aircraft also features a 100% fresh air system and cabin lighting made up of 20,000 HD LEDs that adjusts to circadian rhythms.
Looking to the competition from its classmates, James Hagerty, president and CEO, Hagerty Jet Group says: “Looking at the Global 7500, Falcon 10X and G700, on paper they’re almost all identical. In what they can do, the range, the cabin size. The 10X is the bigger airplane, but the G700 cabin size is huge — you don’t need bigger.”
Sonya Sheldon, vice president, Sales & Acquisitions, Hagerty Jet Group highlights the G700’s speed. She joined HJG in 2021 after playing a large role in the development of the G700 at Gulfstream where she was a Sales Engineer for nearly 18 years.
“Due to the speed and range of the airplane what you are really buying is time,” Sheldon tells CJI. “It is a very efficient aircraft because the push-up to those 0.9 Mach plus speeds requires significant energy. So, the engines have come a long way, the aerodynamics on it, the drag reduction programmes that are run have all come together to accomplish all of that.”
Power on the G700 comes from two Rolls-Royce Pearl 700 engines that each deliver 18,250 pounds of thrust. Hagerty said he was pleased to see the return of the Rolls-Royce engines on the G700. The G500 and G600 had Pratt and Whitney Canada PW800 engines, Hagerty has no issue with those engines, but from a broker’s perspective there are a lot of Rolls-Royce loyalists in the market.
The Pearls are cleaner, more efficient than the BR725 engines on the G650 series. Consuming 3.5% less fuel they provide 8% more thrust than the BR275 and meet international standards for noise and nitrous-oxide emissions.
A streamlined bank of 10 touchscreens has all but taken over from the switches and buttons found in older aircraft. Pilots can control up to three of the main four display screens through individual cursor control devices. In the event of a failure data can be transferred between screens.
Hagerty says that Gulfstream has often led the way in terms of technological advancements onboard.
“Take the synthetic vision system [Enhanced Flight Vision System] for example,” Hagerty tells CJI. “They created this concept of synthetic vision, and it came from an idea to reality, then now it has been adopted by everybody. They’ve always been the leader. Another example is BBML [Broad Band Multi Link] which was introduced with Gulfstream V.”
The avionics on the G700 feature Gulfstream’s Enhanced Flight Vision System (EFVS), its all-new Predictive Landing Performance System (PLPS) and twin head up displays which is a first for a business aircraft. The EFVS enables approaches and safe landing in the all-weather conditions and the PLPS warns pilots in advance when a landing approach is not correct, crucial in helping to prevent overruns. The system shows to the inch where on the runway the aircraft will stop.
So, who is going to buy the G700, what is the target market? Hagerty believes many will be those seeking to upgrade from the G650 line. “The first adopters of the G650 are going to be the first adopters of the G700. They’re anxious, willing and able to jump up on that price point. But this is a $75m airplane. At that price you would think they should be selling more to corporate America.”
Sheldon notes that we are seeing unprecedented levels of High-Net Worth Individuals (HNWI) entering the business aviation market. “I would have told you a few years ago the target market was the corporations, but that has shifted. It was the Fortune 500 companies who bought these aircraft but now there is a greater proportion bought by HNWIs.”
The G700 then, whilst far from Gulfstream’s last business jet (at least two more are planned for launch this decade), feels like a culmination. It feels like the sum of Gulfstream’s successes – in one jet. More than ready to serve a business aviation market crying out for new aircraft. From city-pair speed records to twin head up displays, the G700 is an aircraft of firsts.
- Maximum range: 7,500nm (13,890 km)
- Top speed: Mach 0.925
- Cruise speed: Mach 0.85
- Passengers: up to 19
- Engines: Rolls-Royce Pearl 700 x2
- Thrust: 18,250lbs
- Takeoff distance: 6,250ft
- Cabin height: 6ft 3in
- Cabin width: 8ft 2in
- Cabin length: 56ft 11in
- Maximum payload: 6,385lbs
- Price: $75m.