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Gulfstream News Dominates NBAA Show
October 22, 2014 - Even though Gulfstream announced its totally new large-cabin, very fast G600 and G500 business jets a week before the annual NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition opened in Orlando, the Gulfstream news was still the talk of the show.
Both new Gulfstreams draw on the technology the company developed to build its G650, the fastest and longest-range business jet that has now been in service for about two years.
Both the new airplanes have the same G650 capability for high speed cruise at Mach .90 and long range cruise at Mach .85. The new G600 can fly 6,200 nm at Mach .85 and 4,800 nm at Mach .90. The slightly smaller G500 flies 5,000 nm at Mach .85 and 3,800 nm at Mach .90. Nearly all other business jets, including earlier Gulfstreams, have a long range cruise of Mach .80.
The new Gulfstreams look much like the G650 because the same wing and tail technology that allows for such high speed cruise is used in all three, but the G600 and G500 are all-new designs. The one common feature is that the new airplanes will have the same huge oval windows of the G650.
The new Gulfstreams share the same new cabin width of 7 feet, 11 inches, and a cabin height of 6 feet, 4 inches. That is a few inches smaller than the G650 but markedly larger than earlier Gulfstreams.
The entire aviation industry has known for years that Gulfstream was developing new airplanes that would eventually replace the G450 and G550, but the company managed to keep nearly all details a secret. Their gossip control was so good that everyone - no matter how much in the know - was floored when the G500 prototype taxied up under its own power at a rollout ceremony October 14 at Gulfstream in Savannah, Georgia.
Many other manufacturers have previously announced airplane development programs in progress and essentially all of them held press events to say the programs were on track.
Another interesting tidbit at NBAA was Honeywell's annual business jet sales forecast predicting a 4 percent growth in sales over the coming 10 years. That would equal 9,450 new jets with a value of $280 billion. The forecast found that 46 percent of those planning to purchase a new jet in the next five years would buy one of the very large cabin, long-range airplanes.
The Honeywell forecast confirms what everyone has observed; the growth is in intercontinental range large cabin jets. But, for the first time in several years, the survey shows at least a small uptick in sales of medium and light business jets.
By J. Mac McClellan