Aircraft Comparison: Gulfstream G500 versus G600
Only a couple of inches separate the G600 and the G550, but they make a big difference. Both sit in the large jet sector, and both can carry up to 19 passengers over very-long distances. The G550 has already proved to be a very capable aircraft and the G600 – due in 2019 – has a lot to live up to.
- New Gulfstream G600 list price: $54.5 million
- New Gulfstream G550 list price: $61.5 million
At $6.5 million less the G600 looks like really good value compared to a new G550 – especially with its larger cabin – but there are great deals to be had in the pre-owned G550 market. You can buy a 10 year-old G550 for around $25 million.
Consultants and brokers feel that the aircraft are different enough to prevent any direct price competition, meaning the G550 should retain its residual value in the short term – although values have been slipping. Once G600’s start entering the pre-owned market however – it is inevitable to see some downward pressure on G550 prices.
Travelling in the aircraft
Both aircraft can fly 19 passengers (although few ever do), but the G600s is noticeably roomier. At 45ft 2inches, the G600 is 2ft 2inches longer than the G550 and 7 inches wider. Seven inches may not seem like a lot, but this is a huge difference.
This extra space means that the G600 can have six reclining chairs (versus five on the G550) or a double bed. There is also an option of a shower on the G600. The cabin also allows for various configurations to be used, including an option for a conference area and entertainment space.
Both models offer a 100% fresh air replenishment system, with the G600 maintaining a cabin pressure of 4850ft. This creates a more natural and comfortable cabin whilst also reducing the effects of jetlag – a vital benefit for customers who cannot afford to waste time adjusting to a different time zone.
The G550 cabin is still very comfortable – and can also have a full galley – but the G600 wins on cabin comfort.
Gulfstream G600: 7134mi/11482km/6,200 nm
Gulfstream G550: 7767mi/12501km/6,750 nm
The G600 has a smaller maximum range than the G550, although in reality the difference in range between the two aircraft is negligible. Both are equally capable of being used for the most popular corporate jet routes, which realistically do not require the maximum range capacity available.
The range of the G600 (dark blue) is not far behind the G550 (light blue). Maximum range as shown from Teterboro – however the G600 can reach its destination more quickly.
High speed cruise: 1111kmh/690mph/Mach 0.90
Long range cruise: 1049kmh/652mph/Mach 0.85
High speed cruise: 1049kmh/652mph/Mach 0.85
Long range cruise: 987kmh/613mph/Mach 0.80
The G600 allows passengers to cruise faster and reach their destination sooner. The phrase ‘time is money’ is becoming more relevant – making the increased speed of the G600 is a big selling point over the slower G550. Reduced journey times are enough to push buyers towards the G600.
When looking at manoeuvrability and versatility, both aircraft are similarly matched. Although the G600 requires far less tarmac for take-off from than the G550, but requires 330ft longer to land (3,100ft compared to 2,770ft).
Owning the aircraft
Gulfstream has sold over 500 G550s, and has a loyal customer base along with a great reputation for customer service.
One big change for existing Gulfstream customers is the choice of Pratt & Whitney for the engines, rather than Rolls-Royce. This decision hasn’t shaken market interest, with the PW 800 series expected to be a very fuel efficient product, whilst also allowing customers to benefit from the ESP PurePower PW800 – a new, comprehensive service plan for the PW800 platform.
The G600 is expected to be enough of an increase in comfort, performance and technological advancement to make it a flagship aircraft in the ultra-long range market for the foreseeable future – making it an attractive investment opportunity, as its value should hold well on the pre-owned market.
Gulfstream says that the G600 program is on track to start deliveries in 2019, with a notable order from Qatar Executive (30 firm order across three Gulfstream models).