Earlier we flew one engine inoperative (OEI) takeoff and landing in the G650 simulator at FlightSafety International's Savannah training center. Rudder pedal forces on the OEI takeoff were moderate and the aircraft was easy to control. For landing, though, we could not use the auto -throttle because the system only works if both engines are operating. Managing the asymmetric thrust, however, was not difficult.
Conclusions? G650 is the nicest flying large-cabin Gulfstream yet built. The FBW functionality is all but transparent unless probing the extremes of the flight envelope. Pilots might not know it's a FBW aircraft without being told. PlaneView II, the HUD and EVS, among advanced cockpit features provide unsurpassed situational awareness. The cabin environment, including increased volume, window size and pressurization, along with the redundancy and reliability of the cabin management system, make it Gulfstream's most commodious and functional business aircraft yet.
Being able to cruise at Mach 0.80 may have been the benchmark in the 20th century, but it seems slow by 21st-century standards. Even long-haul airliners now can cruise at Mach 0.85. Bombardier indeed routinely quotes Mach 0.82-0.85 as the normal cruise speed for its current production Global series business jets.
The G650 now raises the standard with its Mach 0.90 high-speed cruise and 6,000 nm range. Slow it to Mach 0.85 and go another 1,000 nm. Among purpose-built business jets, G650 has the best fuel efficiency while cruising at Mach 0.85.
So, Gulfstream's new flagship has a healthy lead in the ultra-long-range business aircraft class. But Bombardier's Global 7000, promising 7,300-nm range at Mach 0.85, is due to arrive in 2016 and its 7,900-nm Global 8000 enters service just one year later. Longer term, Dassault could challenge G650 with a growth version of its pending SMS.
But the G650 is here and it's delivering on its promises. The competition has still to prove their claims. And Gulfstream already is studying its next generation of top-line business aircraft because it believes that's the way to stay in front.
Tap on the icon in the digital edition of AW&ST for a video of Fred George flying the G650, and watch his full video pilot report at http://ow.ly/jaDTl
Gulfstream G650 Specifications
|Wing Loading||77.6/58.2 lb./sq. ft.|
|Power Loading||2.95 lb./lbf.|
|Length||99.8 ft./30.4 meters|
|Height||25.7 ft./7.8 meters|
|Span||99.6 ft./30.4 meters|
|Length||53.6 ft./16.3 meters|
|Height||6.4 ft./2.0 meters|
|Width (maximum)||8.5 ft./2.6 meters|
|Width (floor)||6.3 ft./1.9 meters|
|Output/Flat Rating OAT°C||16,900 lb. each ISA+15C|
|Max Ramp||100,000 lb./45,360 kg|
|Max Takeoff||99,600 lb./45,178 kg|
|Max Landing||83,500 lb./37,875 kg|
|Zero Fuel||60,500 lb./27,443 kg|
|BOW||54,000 lb./24,494 kg|
|Max Payload||6,500 lb./2,948 kg|
|Useful Load||46,000 lb./20,865 kg|
|Executive Payload||1,800 lb./816 kg|
|Max Fuel||44,200 lb./20,049 kg|
|Payload with Max Fuel||1,800 lb./816 kg|
|Fuel with Max Payload||39,500 lb./17,917 kg|
|Fuel with Executive Payload||44,200 lb./20,049 kg|
|Certificated||51,000 ft./15,545 meters|
|All-Engine Service||42,700 ft./13,015 meters|
|Engine-Out Service||25,000 ft./7,620 meters|
|Sea Level Cabin||31,900 ft./9,723 meters|
|Certification||FAR/EASA 25 2012|