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Gulfstream G100

A look at the $6.3 - $8m pre-owned price range.

In this month’s Aircraft Comparative Analysis- we provide information on a selection of Pre-Owned business jets in the $6.3m-$8m range for the purpose of valuing the pre-owned Gulfstream G100. Here- we’ll discover whether a Gulfstream G100 can successfully compete against aircraft with greater cabin volume.

Below- we will weigh some of the important productivity parameters - including payload/range- speed and cabin size - and cover current and future market values. The field for this study includes Bombardier’s Learjet 60- and Cessna’s Citation VII and Excel aircraft.

On May 1- 2001 General Dynamics (GD) announced the acquisition of Galaxy Aerospace Company from Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) which included the type certificates for the entire family of aircraft. When the deal closed- GD placed the entire family of aircraft with Gulfstream- which it had acquired in 1999.

General Dynamics chose to rename the Astra and Galaxy models the Gulfstream G100 and G200 respectively. All pre-owned Westwind and Astra models would be referred to as the Gulfstream Westwind and Astra models. IAI would continue to manufacture the G100 and G200 aircraft in Israel and fly the aircraft for interior completion to Gulfstream in the US.

The 1125 Astra aircraft first flew on March 19- 1984- receiving type design approval on August 29- 1985. From airframe serial number 42- the 1125 Astra took the identity of ‘Astra SP’ - and offered improved range and speed- a new Rockwell Collins autopilot and electronic flight information system (EFIS)- and was powered by two TFE 731-3C-200G turbofan engines.

The 1125 Astra SPX is a continuation of the 1125 Astra SP design with higher-powered engines (TFE 731-40R)- modified wings and winglets- enabling it to fly faster- higher and further than the 1125 Astra SP. Starting with S/N137- aircraft designation is the G100 aircraft. Table A (top left) shows the years of manufacture- total built and total in-operation for each stage of the model’s evolution.

The data contained in Table B (left) is published in the Business & Commercial Aviation (B&CA) May 2009 issue- but is also sourced from Conklin & de Decker. As we mentioned in past articles- a potential operator should focus on payload capability as a key factor. The Gulfstream G100 ‘Available payload with Maximum Fuel’ at 920 pounds has the lowest payload capability in this field of study.

According to Conklin & de Decker- the cabin volume of the Gulfstream G100- at 375 cubic feet- is smaller than all the aircraft in this field of comparison- as shown in Chart A (left). The Cessna Citation Excel has the greatest cabin volume at 461 cubic feet (12.2% more cabin space than the G100).

As mentioned- the Gulfstream G100 is powered by a pair of Honeywell TFE 731-40R engines each offering 4-250 pounds of thrust. The Learjet 60 - enjoying 4-600 lbst from its P&WC PW305A engines - leads all competitors in this field of comparison. The remaining two aircraft in the field- the Citation VII at 4-080 lbst and the Citation Excel at 3-804 lbst- are each powered with less thrust than the G100.

Using data published in the May 2009 B&CA Planning and Purchasing Handbook- and the August 2009 B&CA Operations Planning Guide we will compare our aircraft operating cost. The nationwide (US) average Jet A fuel cost published in the August 2009 B&CA Operations Planning Guide was $4.25 per gallon- so for the sake of comparison we’ll chart the numbers as published.

Chart B (bottom- left)- which details ‘Cost per Mile’- compares the G100 to its competition factoring direct costs and with all aircraft flying a 1-000nm mission with an 800 lbs (four passenger) payload. The G100 at a $3.03 cost per mile offers the lowest direct operating cost of the comparative field of aircraft. In a direct comparison to the Cessna Citation VII (the highest cost in the field at $4.06 per mile)- the difference per mile is $1.03 or 34% less to operate the G100.

The ‘Total Variable Cost’ per hour- illustrated in Chart C (top right)- is defined as the cost of Fuel Expense- Maintenance Labor Expense- Scheduled Parts Expense and Miscellaneous trip expense. The total variable cost for the G100 at $1-228 has the lowest variable cost per hour compared to the rest of the field. Again- the Cessna Citation VII at $1-753 has the highest variable cost per hour in the field of comparison and is 42.7% more costly than the G100.

The points in Chart D (right) center on the same group of aircraft. Pricing used in the vertical axis is as published in the B&CA 2009 Purchase Planning Handbook and Vref. The productivity index requires further discussion in that the factors used can be somewhat arbitrary.

Productivity can be defined (and it is here) as the multiple of three factors.
1. Range with full payload and available fuel;
2. The long range cruise speed flown to achieve that range;
3. The cabin volume available for passengers and amenities.

The result is a very large number so for the purpose of charting- each result is divided by one billion. The examples plotted are confined to the aircraft in this study. A computed curve fit on this plot would not be very tight- but when all business jet aircraft are considered the “r” squared factor would equal a number above 0.9. Others may choose different parameters- but serious business aircraft buyers are usually impressed with Price- Range- Speed and Cabin Size.

After consideration of the Price- Range- Speed and Cabin Size- we can conclude that the G100 as shown in the productivity index (Chart D)- is highly productive within this particular field of aircraft. Also- included in the productivity chart are the Astra SP and G150 aircraft showing the continued improvement in each successive aircraft model.

To briefly recap- in a direct comparison to the field in this study- the Gulfstream G100: has the smallest cabin volume; has the greatest speed; has the longest range; and operates at the lowest cost per mile and per hour.

The average speed- cabin volume- and maximum payload values from Conklin and de Decker and B&CA magazine are shown in Table C (previous page) for all the aircraft in this field of comparison. Also in Table C is the average retail price from Vref for each aircraft with the latest model produced with the price year in parentheses. The last two columns of information show the number of aircraft in-operation and the percentage ‘For Sale’.

As shown in the table- the G100 aircraft leads the field in speed and range. There were also only two- (representing just 9.1% of the active fleet) ‘For Sale’ as of the end of July 2009. Could this be an advantage of a relatively small fleet?

The other competitors all have double digit fleet percentages ‘For Sale’ with 31.4% of all Citation VIIs currently on the market. On the ‘Sold’ side- there has not been a sale of a G100 in the past 12 months. However- five were sold in the past 24 months with the last one selling in July 2008.

Information from JETNET’s Evolution and STAR reporting systems indicates the ‘Average Length of Ownership’ for G100 owners stands at 2.6 years for new aircraft- and 1.4 years for owners of pre-owned G100s. Such data can be valuable for dealer/ broker repeat business- helping to anticipate frequency of ownership changes.

The North American market accommodates 18 (or 82%) of the 22 G100 aircraft- while two are based in Asia and one is in operation in both Europe and Africa.

Within the preceding paragraphs we have touched upon several of the attributes that business aircraft operators value. There are other qualities such as airport performance- terminal area performance- time to climb performance- and maximum transition altitude levels that might factor in a buying decision- though.

Essentially- we conclude that the Gulfstream G100 aircraft fares well amongst its competition- so operators in the market should find the preceding comparison of value. Our expectations are that the G100 aircraft will continue to do very well in the pre-owned market for the foreseeable future.

For more information: Michael Chase is president of Chase & Associates- and can be contacted at 1628 Snowmass Place- Lewisville- TX 75077; Tel: 214-226-9882; Web: www.mdchase.aero



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