The Gulfstream G500 and G600 aircraft have successfully demonstrated steep approach landings into London City airport in the UK, as well as Lugano airport and Sion airport in Switzerland. The milestone demonstrations of low speed handling and short field landing capability were celebrated with a new city pair record run.
Following official FAA and EASA steep approach certification, anticipated next year, both aircraft will gain access to challenging airports such as London City, which requires the certification due to its short runway and stringent noise abatement requirements, as well as airports located in the mountainous region of Switzerland. Lugano's short runway, situated in the mouth of a valley, requires an extremely steep approach.
“The take off and landing performance we demonstrated in Europe was key in the process of securing customers' access to even more locations worldwide, saving them even more valuable hours per year,” says Gulfstream president Mark Burns. “Our customers already benefit from Gulfstream's high speed performance advantage when flying, and the investment we've made in flight testing and continuous improvement delivers even more value with increased flexibility.”
Following the landing demonstrations, the G500 and G600 each claimed city pair speed records, departing London City airport at average cruise speeds of Mach 0.90 and above. The G500 flew 5,699 km to Teterboro airport near New York in just six hours and 46 minutes, besting the previous record by 12 minutes despite challenging headwinds. The G600 set its own speed record from London to Seattle, completing its 7,843 km flight in just eight hours and 39 minutes.
Both flights landed with fuel reserves exceeding NBAA minimums under Instrument Flight Rules. The flights are pending approval by the US National Aeronautic Association and Fédération Aéronautique Internationale in Switzerland for recognition as world records.
To date, the G500 and G600 hold more than 60 city pair speed records combined. In addition, the G600 has officially received FAA and EASA certification of improved take off performance operations on grooved runways in wet conditions; G500 certification is tracking for early 2022.