Gulfstream adds two new G500 test aircraft


The second and third Gulfstream G500s have flown for the first time.

Both aircraft took off for their first flights from Gulfstream’s Savannah homebase on Friday November 20, the same day that aircraft number one (72001 / N500GA) returned from its NBAA debut.

  • Gulfstream G500 makes NBAA debut
  • Aircraft number two (72002 / N502GS) was the first to take to the skies, departing at 09:02 for a three hour and three minute first flight. Gulfstream test pilots Kevin Claffy and Todd Abler were at the controls for the first flight.

    During the flight the aircraft climbed up to 43,000 feet/13,106 meters and flew at a top speed of Mach 0.85. Gulfstream test engineers Tim Spackman and Craig Ziolkowski were also on board, testing engine performance and cabin pressurisation systems.

    The third aircraft (72003 / N503G) departed Savannah later in the day for a shorter 2 hour and 25 minute flight with test pilots Tom Horne and Colin Miller at the controls and Grant Schoonover & Greg Vallone also on board as flight test engineers. Aircraft three, which will mainly be used to test the G500 avionics systems, also climbed to 45,000 ft/13,716 m at a top speed of Mach 0.85.

    “It’s been quite a day for the flight test program with the second and third test aircraft making their first flight and T1 returning to Savannah from the National Business Aviation Association event in Las Vegas,” said Dan Nale, senior vice president, programs, engineering and test, Gulfstream. “We’re very happy with the progress we’ve made. The amount of time and energy our people have invested in this program, both in the air and the labs, is what makes Gulfstream a leader in business aviation. The first flight of an aircraft attests to the fact that we’re closer to putting it into the hands of our customers and delivering on our promises.”

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