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G650 completes high speed cruise from coast-to-coast

written by australianaviation.com.au | February 11, 2011
The G650. (Gulfstream)

Gulfstream has conducted a transcontinental test flight with one of its five new G650 prototypes, demonstrating the aircraft’s high speed capabilities.

Aircraft S/N 6004 conducted a 1900nm (3545 km) test flight from Los Angeles to Savannah, taking off from Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, California, and landing at Savannah/Hilton Head International airport after 3 hours and 26 minutes on January 12, Gulfstream announced this week.

S/N 6004 accomplished speeds between Mach 0.91 and 0.92, with a brief segment at the aircraft’s maximum operating Mach number of 0.925. The G650’s average ground speed was more than 550kt, while maximum ground speed en route was more than 660kt. The G650 initially took off with a calculated balanced field length of less than 1375m and climbed at Mach 0.85 to a cruising altitude of 43,000ft, before transitioning to Mach 0.91 or above for the remainder of the flight.

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Onboard was Gulfstream’s senior vice president, programs, engineering and test, Pres Henne, who said that the high speeds were “typical operational Mach numbers customers can expect from this aircraft,” and the company was pleased with the G650s “real world operational capability”.

“One key figure here is balanced field length, the minimum required runway under the atmospheric conditions. To achieve this kind of performance means that the G650 can go just about anywhere a smaller business jet would routinely go.”

Henne also noted that the introduction of a cabin interior in S/N 6004 had allowed for a “thorough evaluation of the cabin well before entry into service”.

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