Africa Aerospace & Defense 2014

Ultra long-range just got longer [AAD142]

18 September 2014

Cape Town to New York in a single hop at Mach 0.85? Or Cape Town to Sydney at Mach 0.9? No problem for the Gulfstream G650ER, which is making its AAD debut. The aircraft is the latest addition to the Gulfstream family, and takes the already impressive range performance of the G650 to a new level.

Whereas the G650 could reach 7,000 nautical miles at a typical cruising speed of Mach 0.85, the G650ER can cover 7,500nm sectors. Alternatively, at the high-speed cruise of Mach 0.9, the new aircraft can fly for a further 400nm, to a range of 6,400 nm.

The extra range opens a new set of city-pairs for the aircraft, and from South Africa the aircraft can reach all of Europe, Australia, much of Asia (as far as Seoul) and China, and the eastern seaboard of the USA – something that was not possible with the G650.

Alternatively, it can fly faster over G650 city-pairs and carry more payload.

The G650ER is available as a new aircraft and as an upgrade to existing G650s, the modification requiring a downtime of less than a week. Surprisingly little work is needed because the original G650 design made allowances for an additional 4,000 lb of fuel in the wing, allowing fuel capacity to be increased without the need for auxiliary tanks in the fuselage. The engines remain the same Rolls-Royce BR725 turbofans, and the aircraft structure has sufficient margins to handle the increased weight. Minor alterations are required to the flight control and fuel quantity measuring systems to cater for the extra fuel tankage. The only penalty is an increase in balanced field length at maximum weight of 500ft.

Gulfstream (Chalet 36) launched the G650ER at the EBACE show in May and has been flying a development aircraft on proving and demonstration flights. First deliveries are scheduled for early next year, following FAA certification.

(314 words)