The aft section of the cabin has an 80-in.-long three-place divan on the right side with a 3.95-cu.-ft. storage cabinet at the front and a first-aid cabinet at the rear. There are two facing chairs on the left side that convert into a single berth. So, the aircraft sleeps six passengers on overnight trips. The aft section may be enclosed with bulkheads, converting it into a private stateroom.
Aft of the main seating section, there is a 48-in.-long lavatory with vacuum toilet and 13-in.-wide closet on the left and wet sink plus vanity cabinet on the right. The lavatory has no windows.
The back side of the lavatory is a secondary pressure bulkhead with access door to the 195-cu.-ft., 2,500-lb. capacity aft baggage compartment. The compartment is 11% larger in volume than that of the G550. Inflight access is restricted to FL 400 and below, thus it's practically only accessible during climb-out and descent. The 3.6-ft.-wide by 2.6-ft.-high exterior door is 8% larger than on the G550 and the sill height is 4 in. lower for easier loading.
Left Seat in the G650
We belted into the cockpit of serial number 6013 on an afternoon in late January with G650 project test pilot Jake Howard in the right seat and senior experimental test pilot Tom Horne in the jump seat as safety pilot. The aircraft's BOW was 54,372 lb., giving it a potential 1,428-lb. full fuel payload. Gulfstream quoted the BOW at 54,000 lb. for BCA's May 2012 Purchase Planning Handbook. Early G650 operators say their aircraft actually weigh between 54,400 lb. and 54,922 lb., chock full of optional equipment and fully provisioned for long transoceanic missions with multiple meals. Thus, they only can carry four to seven passengers with full fuel. Each additional passenger, however, only costs about 35 nm of range.
Many of the G650's operating protocols, systems procedures and flow patterns are carried over from the G550. Gulfstream had hoped G550-qualified pilots would be able to use a common type rating for flying the G650. However, the FAA and EASA nixed that plan because the G650 has much less in common with the G550 than initially meets the eye, such as FBW flight controls, the secondary power distribution system and standby multifunction controllers (SMCs), among other significant changes.
Most checklists for the G650 are completed using “flow and verify” protocols, splitting responsibilities between left- and right-seat pilots shortly after starting the APU. The left seater flows the overhead panel, including running the systems tests, followed by sweeping from the left side panel, control yoke, left SMC, flight guidance panel and to the center console. The right seater only has to check the onside SMC, control yoke and right-side panel items and equipment.
As noted, the cockpit has much improved outward visibility because of its considerably larger windows. In addition, the EVS camera has been moved up close to the base of the windshield center post, thereby reducing parallax errors when using the EVS HUD imagery as an aid for taxiing at night or in low visibility conditions.
Fuel on board for our flight was only 15,600 lb., but it was enough to fly from Savannah to San Diego or Gander at Mach 0.85 and land with NBAA IFR reserves. Horne computed the ramp weight with safety pilot and other equipment at 70,022 lb., or about 70% of maximum ramp weight. Savannah's field elevation is 50 ft. OAT was 25C. Computed takeoff speeds were 108 KIAS for V1, 109 KIAS for rotation and 126 for the V2 one engine inoperative takeoff safety speed. En route OEI climb speed was 147 KIAS. TOFL was 3,400 ft.
Engine start was very similar to that with the G550. Switch on the boost pumps, turn on the start master and press a start button. With oil pressure and indication of fan rpm, turn on the fuel cock. The FADEC handles the rest. We noted that the air cycle machine packs automatically shut down during engine start to assure sufficient bleed air from the APU to turn the twin Rolls-Royce BR725s' air turbine starters. After start, the ACMs automatically come back on line.