Gulfstream Aerospace has announced that one of its test G650 aircraft has reached a speed of Mach 0.995.
The aircraft achieved this speed during flutter testing, which evaluates the aircraft’s damping responses following an input from an external test device. Gulfstream experimental test pilots Tom Horne and Gary Freeman along with flight test engineer Bill Osborne took MSN 6001 into a dive, pitching the aircraft’s nose 16 to 18 degrees below the horizon. Gulfstream says that the aircraft performed as expected during the tests.
“The airplane is very predictable,” said Horne. “It’s very easy to control and to get precise control at those speeds. The airplane response has matched the expectations of our engineers, and we’ve been able to easily fly the test conditions and march through the test plan.”
The ultra long range, ultra large cabin G650 is expected to be certified in 2011, with entry into service expected during 2012. Four aircraft are currently involved in the flight test campaign.