- 01 Apr 2018
- Mike Chase
- Jets Comparison
One of the best-known names in Business Aviation, Gulfstream traces its origins to the 1950s and Grumman Aircraft Engineering Company. The General Dynamics-owned brand remains a key player in the market today, with six aircraft variants currently in production - the G700, G650, G650ER, G600, G500, G550 and G280.
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Gulfstream Jets Overview
By Gerrard Cowan
Gulfstream announced its range of next-generation aircraft in 2014.
The new Gulfstream G500 (not to be confused with the previous G500 model) was certified and delivered in 2018, and can fly 5,300nm at Mach 0.85 and 4,500nm at Mach 0.90.
The first Gulfstream G600 was delivered in 2019 and has a range of 6,600nm; it can accommodate up to 19 passengers. Both jets feature Gulfstream Symmetry Flight Deck avionics and are powered by two Pratt & Whitney 800-series engines.
The 19-passenger Gulfstream G650, meanwhile, is an all-new jet that flies 7,000nm at Mach 0.85 and 6,000nm at Mach 0.90, while the Gulfstream G650ER is a longer-range variant (7,500nm range at Mach 0.85 and 6,400nm at Mach 0.90).
Finally, in 2019 Gulfstream announced its latest and largest aircraft, the Gulfstream G700. This new, ultra-long-range aircraft will feature Rolls-Royce Pearl 700 engines, new Gulfstream winglets, and a large cabin with up to five living areas, while offering a range of 7,500nm. According to the manufacturer - “The G700™ delivers the most spacious, innovative and flexible cabin in the industry, plus all-new, high-thrust Rolls-Royce engines and the award-winning Symmetry Flight Deck™.”
The first aircraft in the line was a turboprop – the Grumman Gulfstream I – which could hold 12 passengers and travelled to a range of about 2,000nm. About a decade later the GI was followed by a new business jet model, the Rolls-Royce Spey-powered Gulfstream GII, which had capacity for up to 16 passengers and boosted range to 2,600nm.
In the 1980s, the GII was improved with the Gulfstream GIII, which included an increase of wingspan and fuselage, and the addition of new winglets. The aircraft had a range of just over 3,600nm and was again powered by two Rolls-Royce Spey engines.
Later in the same decade, the Gulfstream GIV was launched, a Large Jet seating up to 16. Cruise drag was reduced through wing modifications, helping take the range to 4,200nm.
An upgraded ‘Special Performance’ Gulfstream GIV-SP was then introduced that increased take-off and landing weights; brought structural improvements to landing gear, anti lock brakes, wheels and tires; and utilized Rolls-Royce Tay 611-8 engines with 15% less fuel burn than on the GIV. The GIV-SP also employed technologies from the larger Gulfstream GV, including a PlaneView cockpit with EVS.
Later renamed the Gulfstream G400, the GIV-SP/G400 was eventually upgraded as the Gulfstream G450 with new engines and FADEC. Meanwhile, the company also produced the Gulfstream G300 and Gulfstream G350 as shorter-range versions of the G400 and G450, respectively.
The Gulfstream GV entered the market in the 1995 as one of the first ultra-long-range business jets, boasting a 6,500nm maximum range. Capable of carrying up to 18 passengers, the GV features Rolls-Royce BR710-A1-10 powerplants, helping it travel quicker than any preceding Gulfstream model.
Next, the 18-passenger Gulfstream G550, a variant of the GV, offered increased trans-oceanic range (6,750nm), owing mostly to reductions in aerodynamic drag, and BR710-C4-11 powerplants. This was introduced in 2003 alongside a shorter-range Gulfstream G500 version.
Gulfstream Mid-Size Jets
General Dynamics acquired Gulfstream in the late 1990s, subsequently buying Galaxy Aerospace, who’s Astra SPX was renamed the Gulfstream G100 and its Galaxy aircraft became the Gulfstream G200 – both models being Mid-Size Jets. The G100 was eventually replaced by the Gulfstream G150 which has a bigger fuselage, upgraded avionics and higher MTOW.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), previously co-owner of Galaxy, continues to manufacture aircraft for the Gulfstream brand, including the Gulfstream G280, a new 3,600nm long-range aircraft offering several improvements over the G200, including new Honeywell HTF7250G engines.
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