The Gulfstream G500, which was unveiled to the public in fall 2014 with its sister ship, the G600, is well entrenched in its flight test program. The aircraft has successfully completed its first flight, with a number of additional flights following.
The first flight of the G500 took off at 10:39 a.m. May 18, 2015, from Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport, in Savannah, Georgia, U.S.A., with Gulfstream experimental test pilots Scott Martin and Kevin Claffy at the controls. Flight Test engineer Bill Osborne provided on-board support.
The aircraft climbed to an initial altitude of 10,500 feet/3,200 meters and reached a maximum altitude of 15,000 ft/4,572 m. During the 2-hour-and-16-minute flight, the crew exercised all primary flight control systems; evaluated handling qualities in takeoff and landing configurations; performed a simulated approach and go-around; and checked all systems using the SymmetryTM flight deck touchscreen controllers. The aircraft achieved a maximum air speed of 194 knots. It landed back in Savannah at 12:55 p.m. local time.
“The successful first flight of N500GA represents the tremendous investments we have made in the G500 program,” said Dan Nale, senior vice president, Programs, Engineering and Test, Gulfstream. “We have achieved this milestone thanks to Gulfstream’s world-class research and development teams and our commitment to setting new standards for business aviation.”
After the first flight of the G500, the aircraft continued testing with additional flights and two more test aircraft preparing for flight.
“The first five flights exceeded our expectations,” said Nale. “And they demonstrated that our testing facilities on the ground are having very real benefits in the air, allowing us to identify and address issues before they’re ever seen in flight.”
The G500’s sixth flight took the aircraft to Gulfstream’s facility in Brunswick, Georgia, where the successful deployment of the Attitude Recovery System chute took place. During that flight, the aircraft logged 1 hour and 22 minutes of flight time and two full-stop landings. And the G500 flight test program continues apace.
The G500 and G600 offer an optimized combination of speed, wide-cabin comfort and efficiency providing best-in-class performance with advanced safety features.
The G500 has a range of 5,000 nautical miles/9,260 kilometers at Mach 0.85 or 3,800 nm/7,038 km at Mach 0.90, while the G600 can carry passengers 6,200 nm/11,482 km at Mach 0.85 and 4,800 nm/8,890 km at Mach 0.90. The maximum operating speed for both aircraft is Mach 0.925, the same maximum speed as Gulfstream’s G650 and G650ER.
The G500 and G600 also include Gulfstream’s all-new Symmetry Flight Deck, the most advanced, stylish, comfortable and intuitive flight deck in business aviation. The cutting-edge technology comes in the form of active control sidesticks (ACSs), integrated touchscreen controllers, next-generation enhanced vision system (EVS III), and Honeywell Primus Epic avionics.
Gulfstream anticipates certification of the G500 in 2017, with entry into service in 2018. The G600 certification is slated to follow in 2018, with entry into service in 2019.