Gulfstream has annouced its new flagship aircraft at NBAA-BACE: the Gulfstream G700. Flexjet and Qatar Executive will be launch customers.
“The Gulfstream G700 takes the very best elements from our most innovative products and unites them with cutting-edge advances to create an all-new, advanced technology aircraft that redefines safety, comfort and range at speed,” says company president Mark Burns. “This announcement is the biggest news in business aviation history and is the result of the investments General Dynamics made to develop Gulfstream technology for our products. Thanks to our nearly 18,000 employees around the world, the G700 is continuing a long Gulfstream tradition: raising the bar for ourselves and the industry.”
The G700 boasts a tall, wide and long cabin and can fly 7,500 nm at Mach 0.85 or 6,400 nm at Mach 0.90. With up to five living areas, the jet offers an extra large ultra-galley with a passenger lounge or crew compartment, a six-place dining or conference room and a master suite with shower. Gulfstream says the cabin experience promotes wellness through 20 panoramic oval windows, a low cabin altitude with 100 per cent fresh air and a whisper-quiet cabin.
“Gulfstream has a long tradition of listening to our customers, and the G700 cabin is the evolution of that collaboration,” continues Burns. “Customers shared how much they value flexibility and comfort in the cabin, all without compromising the speed and range advantages they have come to expect from Gulfstream. The G700 delivers all that and more.”
The G700 features the Symmetry Flight Deck and other new safety advancements. Along with active-control sidesticks and an extensive use of touchscreen technology, the flight deck comes standard with a Predictive Landing Performance System. This gives pilots advanced warning of potential runway excursions so they can adjust approaches or go around. The Symmetry Flight Deck also comes standard with Gulfstream's enhanced flight vision system and synthetic vision on dual head-up displays.
All-new, high thrust Rolls-Royce Pearl 700 engines power the G700 and, along with newly designed Gulfstream winglets, ensure the aircraft achieves high performance capabilities with its larger cabin. The aircraft offers excellent take-off and landing performance and can operate easily at weight-restricted, short runway and high altitude airports.
The ability to fly at faster speeds gives customers more time, lower annual expenses for maintenance, parts and services, and shorter crew days for safer operations.
In preparation for first flight, Gulfstream has already accomplished nearly 14,000 hours of lab testing in its integration and cabin test facilities, systems integration bench and iron bird. The company has successfully completed ground vibration testing, engine runs, loads calibration and all structural testing required for first flight.
The G700 flight test fleet will incorporate five traditional test aircraft and one fully outfitted production test aircraft. Manufacturing for all test aircraft is well underway and Gulfstream anticipates G700 customer deliveries in 2022.
The first of those deliveries in North America will be to Flexjet, whose chairman Ken Ricci says: “The Gulfstream G700, with its speed, range and versatility, will make an exceptional fractional offering. We anticipate that it will be ideally suited for those companies that need occasional access to global markets and will be the pinnacle of our Red Label offering. It will be the fifth large cabin aircraft type in the fleet as we continue our international expansion.”
The emerging aircraft is expected to complement the existing Gulfstream types in the Flexjet fleet. "Flexjet's customers have become accustomed to the unparalleled Gulfstream cabin experience,” says Burns. “The G700 combines the best of what we do – performance, innovation and comfort, with the largest cabin in the industry and the most advanced technology.”
In the Middle East, Qatar Executive will be the first to fly the G700. “We are excited to be the launch customer of the G700, the largest business jet in the industry, and are looking forward to the aircraft joining our fleet,” says Qatar Airways group CEO Akbar Al Baker. “Qatar Executive's customers have extremely high standards, and this aircraft will help us meet their requirements by delivering unrivalled performance that complements our excellence in customer service.”