Gulfstream G600 takes flight

A supplied image of the Gulfstream G600 taking off on its inaugural test flight. (Gulfstream)
A supplied image of the Gulfstream G600 taking off on its inaugural test flight. (Gulfstream)

Gulfstream’s newest business jet the G600 has successfully completed its maiden flight.

The G600 made its inaugural flight on December 17, taking off from Savannah-Hilton Head Airport at 1350 (local time), Gulfstream said in a statement.

G600 test aircraft N600G, one of three G600s in the flight test fleet, spent two hours and 53 minutes flying before the flight crew of Gulfstream experimental test pilots Scott Martin and Todd Abler, as well as flight test engineer Nathaniel Rutland, returned to the airport.

Gulfstream president Mark Burns said the maiden flight went flawlessly.

“Launching the G600’s flight-test program is a milestone for us and our customers, who have guided the vision for this aircraft from the beginning,” Burns said in a statement.

“We look forward to delivering this aircraft to them in 2018. Today’s flight, which went flawlessly, represents a significant step forward in the journey to certification and delivery.

“This flight is the perfect way to wrap up 2016 and set the tone for a successful 2017.”

Gulfstream said two additional G600 test aircraft had been inducted into the flight-test centre and were expected to begin flying in early 2017.

The Gulfstream G500 and G600, both wide-cabin aircraft that can seat up to 19 people and cruise at speeds of Mach 0.9, were launched in October 2014.

The G600 is capable of travelling 6,200nm/11,482km at Mach 0.85 or 4,800nm/8,890km at Mach 0.90.

Meanwhile, the G500 commenced its flight test program in May 2015 and was due to receive type certification in 2017, with entry into service projected for the fourth quarter of the year.

Gulfstream unveiled a new interior for the G500 at the National Business Aviation Association’s Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) that was held in October, featuring new seats, increased storage for personal items and a tablet holder.

The G500 can fly 5,000nm/9,260km at Mach 0.85 or 3,800nm/7,038km at Mach 0.90.