Just 10 years after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certified the Gulfstream G650, and eight years since the G650ER was announced and certified, the private and business jet maker announced yesterday that the 500th Gulfstream G650 and G650ER customer delivery was made at Gulfstream’s Appleton, Wisconsin, completions facility.
The G650 platform has been a mainstay in the industry. In 2014, the National Aeronautic Association awarded the G650 program the Robert J. Collier Trophy, one of the most prestigious industry awards. It beat out other nominees, including the StratEx Team; the Embraer Legacy 500; the F-16 Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance Team; the General Aviation Joint Steering Committee; the Orion Exploration Flight Test-1; and the Aurora Flight Sciences Orion UAS.
In a statement, Gulfstream CEO Mark Burns said, “with an incredible 500 delivered, persistent demand, and a host of industry accolades, the G650 and G650ER are undeniably iconic.”
Burns is correct. Between the G650 and the G650ER, the fast-flying business jet has set more than 120 city-pair world speed records, including polar and westbound around-the-world records. The platform is powered by a pair of Rolls-Royce BR725 engines that allow the G650 to fly 7,000 nm at Mach 0.85 or 6,000 nm at a high-speed cruise of Mach 0.90. The G650ER is capable of flying as far as 7,500 nm at Mach 0.85 and 6,400 nm at 0.90. According to Gulfstream, both aircraft can go even faster to achieve a maximum operating speed of Mach 0.925. They can cruise as high as 51,000 feet and are FAA and EASA certified for steep approaches.
In July, Gulfstream said the platform’s EASA certification for steep approaches followed the FAA’s from 2019. For those permissions, pilots had to demonstrate the aircraft’s ability to fly 5.5-degree approaches into airports like London City in the U.K. and Lugano, Switzerland. To underscore the demand for the business jet, at the time of that announcement, Gulfstream said there were 480 G650s and G650ERs in service then.
With the pandemic accelerating the switch to business jets, General Dynamic, the parent company of Gulfstream, said at the end of 2021 that it experienced its strongest year in sales since 2008, mainly attributed to the G650 platform that customers purchased.
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Even as Gulfstream plans to roll out its new flagship G700 and ultralong-range G800 aircraft, Burns said his company would continue investing and improving the G650 and G650ER models. Last week, the company announced its progress in bringing the G700 and G800 to market after its new Rolls-Royce Pearl 700 engines achieved EASA certification.