Gulfstream’s newest business jet the G500 is making further progress towards certification in 2017 with the completion of flutter testing as part of the aircraft’s flight test program.
The first G500 test aircraft, T1, has flown more than 50 missions and clocked up about 320 since its first flight in May 2015. Since then, the aircraft has been flown at Mach 0.999 and 53,000 feet, with the longest flight lasting about five hours, Gulfstream said in a statement.
The company said other flight testing areas, such as envelope expansion, air data system testing, aero performance, brakes and field performance, handling qualities and flight controls, were “continuing on track”.
A further two test aircraft, T2 and T3, had their first flight in November 2015.
T2 recently completed climate chamber testing the at McKinley Climatic Laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, Gulfstream said, with the aircraft subjected to temperatures ranging from -40 degrees Celsius to 55 degrees Celsius.
Meanwhile, T3, is testing the aircraft’s new flight deck, as well as ice-protection systems, landing gear and nose wheel steering operation, environmental control systems, cabin pressure control systems and community noise testing, Gulfstream said.
“With three aircraft in flight, the program has surpassed 430 flight-test hours over more than 105 flights,” Gulfstream senior vice president for programs, engineering and test Dan Nale said in a statement on February 4.
“The flight-test team has started the new year off with great success.
“The successful completion of climatic chamber testing assures us that the aircraft will be prepared to meet the Federal Aviation Administration’s rigorous certification process and extreme real-world conditions our customers will experience when they fly the G500,” Nale said.
A fourth G500 test aircraft that will consider human factors and supporting systems will shortly begin flying, while a fifth aircraft fitted with full interior cabin will be used to test “interior elements as well as complete integration of the aircraft systems with the passenger experience”, Gulfstream said.
The G500, which seats up to 19 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.
The aircraft was scheduled to receive type certification from the US Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency in 2017, with entry into service planned for 2018.