First Production Aircraft To Begin Testing
A fourth aircraft is now part of
the Gulfstream G650 flight-test program, Gulfstream Aerospace
announced Monday. The newest test aircraft flew for the first time
June 6 and has spent more than five hours in the air.
Unlike its three predecessors, the fourth G650 (S/N 6004) is a
production aircraft. S/N 6004 will be the first G650 outfitted and
tested with a full interior, which will be installed later this
summer. The aircraft, which will be used to evaluate the aircraft's
cabin systems, is expected to resume flight testing following the
The G650 flight-test program involves an estimated 1,800 hours
of flight and a specific purpose for each of five aircraft. S/N
6001 is focused on envelope expansion, air data calibration,
flutter, in-flight performance and flight controls. S/N 6002 is
used to evaluate the aircraft's systems, while S/N 6003 tests the
avionics, in-flight load measurement and ice protection system. S/N
6005, which has been turned over to the Flight Test department for
outfitting, will participate in the reduced vertical separation
The G650 flight-test program officially began on Nov. 25, 2009.
Through June 20, the four aircraft currently in the program have
completed more than 85 flights and 240 flight-test hours.
Ultimate load testing of the aircraft's primary structural
components has also begun. In April, the aircraft completed the
structural limit load testing required by the FAA and the EASA. The
limit load represents the maximum load the aircraft should
experience during its life cycle. Ultimate load is 50 percent more
than limit load. Ultimate load testing will be performed on the
fuselage, wing, vertical and horizontal stabilizers, nose landing
gear and all control surfaces.
The G650 has also flown at its maximum takeoff weight of 99,600
pounds and recently reached its maximum operational Mach number of
Mach 0.925 at 42,500 feet.
The aircraft is expected to receive certification from the FAA
and EASA in 2011. It is on schedule to enter service in 2012.