Our standard profile calls next for a simulated one-engine inoperative takeoff and landing. But we previously performed those maneuvers in the G650 simulator at FlightSafety International's Savannah training center. This both reduced risk and added the realism of a complete engine failure rather than by reducing thrust to idle in the actual aircraft. Rudder pedal forces on the OEI takeoff were moderate and the aircraft was easy to control. For landing, though, we couldn't use the auto throttle because the system only works if both engines are operating. Managing the asymmetric thrust, however, wasn't much of a challenge. We appreciated the addition of the automatic rudder center function because it eliminates the need to retrim the rudder to neutral or hold rudder pressure during the flare.
The second takeoff in the actual aircraft on Runway 19 thus was a normal all-engine maneuver to a downwind VFR pattern. Downwind, we slowed to 180 KIAS, extended the flaps to 10 deg. and lowered the landing gear. Abeam the approach end, we started a shallow descent and extended the downwind leg. Turning base, we extended flaps to 20 deg. and slowed to 160 KIAS. We turned to a 3-mi. final while extending the flaps to 39 deg.
We aligned the 3-deg. nose-down pitch mark on the HUD with the runway touchdown zone and used the FPV to maintain desired trajectory. The technique worked well, but we flared with a touch too much speed causing a little float. Make a note. Aircraft with no leading edge devices tend to float more than those with slats if you carry excess speed.
We again turned off after a 5,000-ft. landing roll and taxied back to the Gulfstream ramp. Pulling into the chocks, Howard turned on the belly videocam and displayed the image on the MFD. This enabled us to track the parking alignment line within a couple of inches of centerline, shutting down the engines after the 1.7-hr. demo mission.
Conclusions? The G650 is the nicest flying large-cabin Gulfstream yet built. The fly-by-wire functionality is all but transparent unless probing the extremes of the flight envelope. Pilots might not know it's an FBW aircraft without being told. PlaneView II, the HUD and EVS, among advanced cockpit features provide unsurpassed situational awareness in the cockpit. The cabin environment, including increased volume, window size and pressurization, along with the redundancy and reliability of Gulfstream's Cabin Essential CMS, make it the most commodious and functional business aircraft yet built by the Savannah firm.
Price and Value
Travel time savings is the prime justification for operating a business aircraft. Each new Gulfstream model, starting with the transcontinental GII in 1967, has been at the head of its speed and range class when introduced. That was true for the GIII in 1980, GIV in 1987 and GV in 1997.
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 to 0.85 as the normal cruise speed for its current production Global series business jets.
The G650 now sets a new standard with its Mach 0.90 high-speed cruise and 6,000-nm range. Slow down to Mach 0.85 and it leads the ultra-long-range class with 7,000-nm range. Assuming standard day conditions, the aircraft can depart a 4,000-ft. runway and fly eight passengers 4,000 nm in just over 8 hr.
The aircraft also tops the class with the highest pressurization, largest windows and lowest sound levels. The accompanying BCA Comparison Profile, however, pro–vides a somewhat skewed picture of the aircraft's overall capabilities primarily because of the inclusion of the Boeing BBJ1 and Airbus ACJ319. Having a large maximum payload capacity, for instance, is important if you're hauling large groups of affiliated travelers, such as sports teams or heads of state with full entourage. Most competitors also can carry more payload with max fuel than the G650 and their maximum payload to MTOW ratio is higher, again biased by the inclusion of the Boeing and Airbus transports.