Gulfstream G500 earns FAA type and production certificates
Capable of carrying up to 19 passengers, Gulfstream's new G500 can fly continuously from Los Angeles to London. The aircraft has already earned more than 20 city-pair records, most of them at Mach 0.90. (Image source: Gulfstream)

Gulfstream G500 earns FAA type and production certificates

Gulfstream’s all-new business jet nears entry into customer service
The Gulfstream G500 twin-engine business jet – designed and manufactured by Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. of Savannah, Ga. – recently completed type certification and received a production certificate from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The certifications pave the way for Gulfstream’s first G500 customer delivery planned for fourth quarter this year.

Designed for high-speed travel, the G500 can achieve a maximum speed of Mach 0.925 with its two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW814GA turbofan engines. Together, the engines can produce up to 30,288 pound force (lbf) of thrust at takeoff. For perspective, the two Pratt & Whitney F-100 turbofan engines on an F-15 Eagle fighter jet produce a combined 29,180 lbf of dry thrust.

During the G500 certification program, which verifies the airworthiness of the aircraft’s design, Gulfstream demonstrated better-than-expected performance for the G500, including a takeoff distance of just 5,200 feet (ft) – 200 ft less than originally projected.



Furthermore, the G500 clocked a range of 5,200 nautical miles (nm) at a long-range cruise speed of Mach 0.85, 200 nm farther than the projected range of 5,000 nm. At a high-speed cruise of Mach 0.90, the G500 will fly 4,400 nm, a 600-nm increase over the projected range of 3,800 nm.

With 16 passengers (though capable of carrying 19), the G500 can fly continuously from Los Angeles to London. The aircraft has already earned more than 20 city-pair records, most of them at Mach 0.90. The G500 is also first business aircraft certified to Stage 5 noise standards for reduced overland noise pollution.

“The tens of thousands of lab hours combined with the more than 5,000 hours we’ve flown the five G500 flight-test aircraft will help ensure we deliver a high-performing, reliable, mature aircraft to customers. We’re excited to conclude the type certification effort, complete the production-certificate audit and move on to the next phase of this program: delivering aircraft,” says Mark Burns, president, Gulfstream.

The G500 is a clean-sheet design – meaning it’s a completely original aircraft – and it will compete against other long-range business jets such as the Bombardier Global Express 5000 and Dassault Falcon 7X.
Gulfstream, a subsidiary of General Dynamics, has been producing aircraft since 1958. To stay competitive in the business aviation market segment, Gulfstream included active control sidesticks and 10 Honeywell touchscreen controllers in the first application of the Gulfstream Symmetry flight deck.

Based on Honeywell’s Primus Epic integrated avionics system, the Symmetry flight deck is one of the most advanced in business aviation. The integrated touch screens are used for system controls, flight management, communication, checklists, and monitoring weather and flight information in order to ease pilot workload. The G500 uses a third-generation Honeywell SmartView synthetic vision system for optimizing pilot awareness in low visibility and is also the first aircraft certified to use such a system to land.



The G500 is also one of the first few aircraft to leverage “open avionics” developed by General Electric. Open avionics platforms consist of one core computer that shares computing resources between modular, reconfigurable systems versus the traditional method of having separate, dedicated computers for each aircraft system. It contributes to Gulfstream’s Data Concentration Network (DCN) approach of strategically lining airframe with a technology infrastructure that significantly reduce cables and parts, resulting in less weight, maintenance time, and cost.



Lastly, beyond technical and performance firsts, Gulfstream was mindful concerning enhanced passenger experience – a key differentiator in the business jet market segment. The interior of the G500 has low cabin sound levels, a 100 percent fresh air supply, 14 panoramic cabin windows, and highspeed communications.

 
 

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William Kucinski is content editor at SAE International, Aerospace Products Group in Warrendale, Pa. Previously, he worked as a writer at the NASA Safety Center in Cleveland, Ohio and was responsible for writing the agency’s System Failure Case Studies. His interests include 'literally anything that has to do with space,' past and present military aircraft, and propulsion technology. And also sportscars.
 
Contact him regarding any article or collaboration ideas by e-mail at william.kucinski@sae.org.
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