Flown by experimental test pilot Jake Howard and senior experimental test pilot Tom Horne, the G650 took off from Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport at 1341 local time with flight engineer Bill Osborne on board. However, the flight was curtailed after a vibration in the landing-gear door curtailed the testing regimen as a precautionary measure and the aircraft landed 12 minutes later.
“We are pleased to announce that the G650 successfully completed its first flight today,” said Pres Henne, senior vice president, programs, engineering and test, Gulfstream. “Systems were fully operational. The aircraft achieved an altitude of 6600ft and a speed of 170kt. Flight controls and characteristics performed as expected. We consider this flight a success and look forward to pursuing our full flight-test plan.”
The G650 is scheduled to achieve type certification in 2011, with entry into service due in 2012.