Gulfstream says its newest business jet the G500 has successfully completed 100 hours of flight testing ahead of its scheduled certification in 2017.
The G500 began its flight test program in May 18, when the first test flight took off from Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport.
Since then, Gulfstream has completed 45 missions with the business jet. The longest duration of a single flight was a five-hour and 22-minute trip, Gulfstream said, while the maximum altitude reached was 38,500ft and the maximum speed was Mach 0.80.
Gulfstream senior vice president for programs, engineering and test Dan Nale said the G500 had been flight “exactly as expected”.
“It’s just really exciting to see how well this aircraft is performing,” Nale said in a statement.
“The team recently flew three missions in one day, with hot refueling between flights, for a total flight time of nearly seven hours. Our test pilots have said the aircraft’s handling qualities are exceptional.”
The G500 flight test program will eventually comprise four aircraft.
The first aircraft covers flight performance and flight controls.
The second and third aircraft, which look at flight loads validation and testing of the aircraft’s avionics, respectively, were currently being prepared for flight. A fourth G500 test aircraft will consider human factors and supporting systems.
There will also be a fifth aircraft fitted with fully interior to “validate the functionality and compatibility of various cabin systems when used at altitude”, Gulfstream said.
The company said it had completed initial testing of the aircraft’s handling qualities, and tested high-speed and attitude recovery stall systems and was currently “in the midst of flutter and envelope expansion testing”.
The G500 was forecast to receive certification in 2017, with entry into service expected in 2018.
The Pratt & Whitney Canada PW814GA engines which power the G500 received certification from Transport Canada in February 2015.
The Gulfstream G500, which seats up to 18 people, had a range of 9,260km and a cruising speed of Mach 0.9, was launched in October 2014 alongside sister-ship the G600.