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The Gulfstream II is a twin engine business jet designed and built by Grumman, and then Gulfstream, in response to demand for a jet powered variant of the GI turboprop. Production commenced on 5 May, 1965 and the first prototype flew on 2 October, 1966. Four aircraft were used in the certification program and the FAA Type Certificate was awarded on 19 October, 1967. The GIIs were produced as green aircraft and delivered to a completion centre for fitting out.
The Gulfstream II is powered by two Rolls-Royce Spey 511-8 turbofan engines, each rated at 11,400 lbs of thrust, and designed to provide high speed and long range capability without sacrificing the airport performance and reliability of its GI predecessor. The first GII featured swept wings. It will climb 4,350 ft per minute and has a service ceiling of 42,500 ft. It typically cruises at 450 to 475 knots.
It has a cabin about the same size as that of a Gulfstream IV. The galley and lav are located aft of the passenger seats and the 157 cubic ft baggage compartment is accessible through the lav in flight. The compartment can be externally loaded.
In the late 1960s, NASA was looking for an aircraft on which to train astronauts for space shuttle landings. The shuttle drops heavily and touches down at about 250 mph, and NASA needed an aircraft that could withstand repeated descents from 35,000 to 50 ft in just three minutes as well as extremely high speed landing gear drops. The agency selected the GII.
Production of the GII ended in December 1979.
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