Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. has announced that the Gulfstream G500 has completed five test flights since it first took to the skies May 18.
During more than 15 hours of flying, the aircraft achieved a top speed of Mach 0.80 and a maximum altitude of 38,500 feet. The aircraft’s longest flight was more than four hours. Over the past several weeks, the aircraft has been undergoing modifications to prepare for returning to flight later this month, the company said.
“The first five flights exceeded our expectations,” said Dan Nale, senior vice president or Programs, Engineering and Test with Gulfstream. “And they demonstrated that our testing facilities on the ground are having very real benefits in the air, allowing us to identify and address issues before they’re ever seen in flight.”
Gulfstream announced the G500 and G600 family of aircraft on Oct. 14, 2014, and officials said programs for both aircraft are progressing well. As the first G500 flight-test plane undergoes modification, two more are preparing for flight, and a fourth is in production. Additionally, the first G600 flight-test aircraft has begun the initial stages of production.
Together, the two programs have completed more than 36,000 hours of lab testing, and both the G600 integration test facility and the G600 Iron Bird are now operational. The engines for the G500 and G600 were certified by Transport Canada in February. The G500 has a range of 5,000 nautical miles at Mach 0.85 or while the G600 can carry passengers 6,200 nautical miles at Mach 0.85. The maximum operating speed for both aircraft is Mach 0.925, the same maximum speed as Gulfstream’s G650 and G650ER.
Gulfstream anticipates certification of the G500 in 2017, with entry into service in 2018. The G600 certification is slated to follow in 2018, with entry into service in 2019.