Gulfstream Aerospace introduced two all-new business jets in mid-October in a surprise ceremony at its production plant in Savannah, Ga. The Gulfstream G500 and G600 jets aim to provide speed and operating efficiency, plus wide-cabin comfort. Both airplanes can cruise as fast as an impressive Mach 0.90 (or about 680 mph), with a maximum range of a little more than 5,700 miles for the G500 and about 7,100 miles for the G600.
The cabins in both aircraft will measure more than 7.5 feet wide and more than 6 feet high, with space for as many as 18 passengers. The G500 has three living areas and the G600 adds the option of a crew rest area or a fourth living area. Both cabins feature Gulfstream’s signature big oval windows for plenty of natural light, and a suite of features to help combat fatigue: 100 percent fresh air, industry-leading low noise levels, and a cabin altitude of just 4,850 feet. The flight deck is updated with active control side sticks, 10 integrated touchscreens, and a digital fly-by-wire system to promote stability.
Gulfstream has already built two new production facilities for the jets at its campus in Savannah. The $43.5 million G500 is expected to enter service in 2018, with the $54.5 million G600 to follow a year later.
In the optimization process, Gulfstream closely examined every aspect of the new aircraft and no detail was too minor to escape scrutiny. To that end, the G500 and G600 offer a cabin environment pressurized to the lowest cabin altitude on the market. While flying at 51,000 feet/15,545 meters, passengers’ bodies will feel as though they are standing on terra firma at a mere 4,850 feet/1,478 meters.
As for fresh air, Gulfstream engineers perfected a way to introduce 100 percent fresh air into the cabin to further enhance the passenger experience. Despite the large cabin volume, the air is replenished every two minutes. The combination of the lowest cabin altitude in the industry, cleanest air and the largest windows in business aviation translates to the G500 and G600 offering an unparalleled experience optimized for high- performance comfort.
YOU CAN TAKE IT WITH YOU
A person need not be an aeronautical engineer to understand that the Gulfstream wing is an engineering marvel. One glance at a Gulfstream wing compared to any other aircraft on the ramp makes the engineering superiority and resultant aerodynamics obvious. The inherent beauty of the Gulfstream wing lies in the fact that the wing outperforms all others in its ability to safely maneuver at high altitude where lesser designs are dancing on the edge of the envelope. But perhaps one frequently overlooked aspect of the wing is its high-lift capability with regard to payload. As a basic design philosophy, all large-cabin Gulfstream aircraft can carry a full fuel load plus 1,800 pounds/816 kilograms of payload (eight passengers and baggage). That’s a feat that quickly thins the large-cabin class.
The G500 and G600 represent the dawn of a new era in flight deck design, integration, functionality, ergonomics and even aesthetics. Gulfstream’s Advanced Aircraft Program group has forever changed the way pilots aviate, navigate and communicate.
One of the first things pilots will gravitate toward is the new active control sidesticks. By replacing the traditional pedestal-mounted yoke with an active control sidestick, Gulfstream increased the visibility of the avionics suite and improved pilot comfort. And unlike other sidesticks on the market, Gulfstream’s active control sidesticks are digitally linked to provide both visual and tactile control inputs in concert to improve situational awareness in the cockpit.
INTELLIGENT IMMERSIVE INTEGRATION
The Gulfstream Symmetry Flight Deck™ can best be described as intelligent, immersive and integrated. The cockpit is unlike anything else in aviation today. Flight crews immerse themselves in a workstation that is more an extension of self than ever before possible. The intelligent design leverages touch-screen technology to eliminate switches and replaces them with soft keys on 10 interchangeable touch screens. The proprietary Gulfstream Phase-of-Flight™ technology behind the touch-screen controls intelligently and intuitively serves up the precise pilot interface needed for whatever phase of flight the aircraft is in at the time. This technology demonstrates once again why Gulfstream has become legendary for delivering tomorrow’s flight experience today.
Since Gulfstream has built a reputation as the most advanced business aircraft manufacturer in the world, it’s only natural that the next major advancement of flight control technology and integration would be pioneered by the same company that introduced the head-up display, the Enhanced Vision System and the Synthetic Vision System.
More than simply managing wired communications for certain flight controls, the G500 and G600 Intelligence-by-Wire™ system incorporates flight control systems, active control sidesticks, autobrake, autothrottles, emergency descent mode, avionics and much more.