Gulfstream G650 pushes design limits by flying Los Angeles to Melbourne non-stop
Gulfstream has flown a G650 test aircraft between Los Angeles and Melbourne non-stop, with the ultra-long range flight believed to be the first time a private jet has flown non-stop between the two countries.
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Starting its flight from Los Angeles International Airport at 05:37 local / 13:37z on Saturday March 1, G650 msn 6004 / N650GD arrived at Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport 14 hours and 49 minutes later at 15:26 local / 04:25z on Sunday March 2.
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Although no further details of the flight are known, the G650 pushed its design limits flying non-stop between the two cities, and got very close to its maximum quoted range.
According to online distance calculator GCMAP.com, the distance between Los Angeles and Melbourne’s airports is 12,778 km, while Gulfstream quotes the range of the G650 to be 13,000 km.
The reasons for the flight also are not clear. It is possible that Gulfstream were aiming for another city-pair record, but the manufacturer could also be considering a range increase package for the G650 to help combat the upcoming threat of the Bombardier Global 8000.
Although the Global 8000 is several years away, Bombardier’s website for the aircraft states that the range of the new $65 million jet is 14,631km, and notes Los Angeles to Sydney as a possibility in its city-pair data.
Gulfstream are also believed to have recently leased a Bombardier Global 6000 for several days to help their sales team sell directly against the aircraft, which in itself could be taken as a sign that they are seeing increased competition.
Much of the G650s recent press revolves around city-pair speeds records, so the Global 8000 stands a good chance of taking the G650s crown away on many of these. However the Global 8000 will make its own headlines connecting cities outside of the G650s range.
Following a days rest in Melbourne, G650 N650GD flew on to Hong Kong.