G650 production continues


Gulfstream begin manufacture of next G650

Gulfstream Aerospace has begun manufacturing
the next G650 airframe, serial number 6013 in Savannah as all production, engineering and
ground-test activities for the aircraft continue. The company is working
closely with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to resume the
flight-test activities required as part of the aircraft’s type certification.

As manufacturing continues, so, too, do
other program activities. The G650 fatigue test article (F6) is now in the
structural test hangar, where it will spend the next three years “flying” the
equivalent of two and a half life cycles to verify the airframe’s structural

The G650 flight-test aircraft have
accumulated some 1,500 flight hours in an estimated 2,200-hour certification
program. The aircraft have already completed a number of test points, including
airspeed calibration, flutter, power plant and auxiliary power unit operations,
flyover noise and water ingestion.

Gulfstream voluntarily suspended G650 flight
testing on 2 April 2011, following the accident involving the second
flight-test aircraft, Serial Number 6002. The accident is under investigation
by the National Transportation Safety Board. Gulfstream is fully cooperating in
that investigation.

Preparations for the G650’s 2012 entry into
service are also on track. The simulator that will be used to train and certify
G650 pilots has been delivered to FlightSafety in Savannah. The full-motion simulator is
expected to receive Level D certification from the FAA in 2012. Training time
for pilot certification will vary from 13 to 24 days, depending on the pilot’s
level of experience with other Gulfstream aircraft.

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