Gulfstream G250 debuts at NBAA in Atlanta


Gulfstream G250 makes debut at NBAA in Atlanta.  Test aircraft crosses the Atlantic Ocean for convention and for continuing certification testing.

Gulfstream’s new G250 super mid-size jet accomplished its first trans-Atlantic crossing on 15 October en route to the 63rd Annual National Business Aviation Association Meeting and Convention in Atlanta. The aircraft flew 6,192 nautical miles squawk-free in three legs over 14 hours and 31 minutes.

“Customers are going to be very happy with the performance of this airplane,” said Ronen Shapira, chief of flight test for Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), who co-captained the aircraft with Capt. Raphael Palter. Also participating in the flight were pilot Dov Davidor and technicians Uzi Mizrahi and Amir Levi.

“This first trans-Atlantic crossing for the G250 was a terrific demonstration of the aircraft’s performance and the fact that it is meeting all of the objectives we set for it,” said Mark Kohler, director, G250 program, Gulfstream. “For an aircraft with just over 65 flight hours, the fact that the three legs were squawk-free was especially pleasing to us.”

Serial Number (S/N) 2003 departed Tel Aviv at 1:32 p.m. local time on 14 October, weighing 38,000 pounds, 1,600 pounds below max takeoff weight, and climbed directly to 41,000 feet (12,497 m). The aircraft cruised at Mach 0.80 and climbed to final cruise altitude of 43,000 feet (13,106 m) for a smoother ride (all three legs were flown at the aircraft’s typical cruise speed of Mach 0.80). It landed in Shannon six hours and 12 minutes after takeoff. As planned, the crew initiated a go-around at 5 hours and 40 minutes into the flight with auto-pilot and auto-throttles fully engaged.

“We did it with the punch of a button, and the airplane performed the go-around maneuver flawlessly,” noted Shapira.

The following day, the aircraft departed Shannon at noon for Bangor, Maine, arriving 5 hours and 56 minutes later. Fuel flows on this and all other segments were consistent with design objectives, according to Shapira. The aircraft arrived in the Bangor area amidst heavy rain and turbulence, landing with a 30-degree, 20-knot gusting to 29 crosswind.

“We had landed previously with a higher crosswind component in Israel,” said Shapira. “It was quite uneventful. When you consider the integration between the airplane, the auto-pilot, the auto-throttles and the new wing, you have an airplane with flying qualities very similar to the G550, and I love flying the G550.”

Loaded with 8,600 pounds of fuel, well below its maximum, the aircraft departed Bangor on Oct. 16 and climbed smartly to 43,000 feet, Mach 0.80 in just 18 minutes. Shapira further noted that takeoff distances are well within the specifications previously announced, that is to say, less than 5,000 feet at maximum takeoff weight.

The aircraft arrived in Savannah at 11:25 a.m. The pilots were greeted by Pres Henne, senior vice president, Programs, Engineering and Test, Gulfstream, and the popping of champagne corks.

The large-cabin, mid-range Gulfstream G250, which Gulfstream builds in conjunction with its partner Israel Aerospace Industries, arrived in Atlanta on Sunday and will be part of Gulfstream’s static display at the Peachtree DeKalb Airport.

“We’re now able to show the industry the best plane in the mid-size segment,” said Larry Flynn, senior vice president, Marketing and Sales, Gulfstream. “It’s an incredible opportunity for our operators and customers to see this aircraft up close and side-by-side with the other aircraft in the Gulfstream fleet. With its swept wing and T tail, the G250 is signature Gulfstream, especially in terms of its performance and look.”

The aircraft, Serial Number (S/N) 2003, will be in Atlanta until 22 October when it returns to Savannah. On 23 October, the aircraft will depart Savannah for far-field noise testing in Bakersfield, Calif., followed by high-field testing in Colorado and then interior acoustic testing back in Savannah. Following a brief stay in Savannah, the aircraft will return to Tel Aviv.

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