Gulfstream’s flagship G700 flight-test programme has logged more than 1,100 flight hours, a year after the business jet’s maiden flight.
Mark Burns, president, Gulfstream, said: “The aircraft itself has been performing flawlessly, whether going to extreme speeds and heights or running through its paces in the high-altitude environment at Telluride.
“We have spent the past year rigorously testing this mature, high-performing aircraft for our customers, and I look forward to continuing to do that and more in the coming months as we steadily move toward certification and customer deliveries.”
Since its maiden voyage on February 14th 2020, the G700 has successfully completed several critical phases-of-flight tests, including envelope expansion, flutter, aerodynamic stalls, flying qualities, flight control systems and air-data testing.
Four additional test aircraft
Four additional test aircraft have joined the programme. During envelope expansion testing, the aircraft safely performed well beyond its maximum operations speed and cruise altitude, flying at Mach 0.99 and at 54,000ft (16,459m), according to the company.
The test fleet has also undergone winglet and wing-ice shape stall testing, loads testing and initial cold-weather testing at the McKinley Climatic Laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. Avionics testing took place in Chicago and Van Nuys, San Jose and Oakland, California.
More recently, the G700 began flight-into-known-icing (FIKI) testing and successfully completed high-altitude engine-performance testing at Telluride Regional Airport in Colorado, at an altitude of 9,078ft (2,767m). The aircraft is also undergoing high-intensity radiated fields/indirect effects of lightning (HIRF/IEL) testing.
‘Great safety differentiator’
Also under test is the G700’s enhanced Symmetry Flight Deck, which includes the Gulfstream Predictive Landing Performance System. “The system is a great safety differentiator, giving pilots advanced warning of potential runway excursions to allow them to adjust approaches or go around,” said the company. The flight deck includes the company’s Enhanced Flight Vision System and Synthetic Vision on dual head-up displays.
In addition to flight characteristics, the G700 flight-test programme is evaluating the aircraft’s interior design. The flagship model has up to five living areas, including new seating, a new circadian lighting system and “an ultra galley”, said to be the industry’s largest. Also included in the interior design is a grand suite with optional shower and a six-place conference and dining table. The aircraft is equipped with 20 panoramic windows and the Gulfstream Cabin Experience with 100% fresh, never recirculated air, low cabin altitude and quiet noise levels.
Meanwhile, the Gulfstream I, the first purpose-built business aircraft, first flew in 1958. Nearly 2,900 aircraft are now in service worldwide.