Gulfstream ended the year with a brace of accomplishments for its G650 program that set the stage for a busy 2013 in terms of deliveries. The company delivered its first G650 to a U.S. customer last week. "The first delivery of an aircraft is always an auspicious occasion and this one is especially so. This delivery represents the beginning of a new era in aircraft design and manufacturing in terms of quality, capabilities, reliability, parts availability and maintenance activities," said Gulfstream President Larry Flynn. "We're thrilled to see the first G650 leave our hangar for a customer's. Soon the G650 will be a common sight at airports around the world." The company also closed out the year with a couple of important certifications.
As the first revenue G650 was winging its way home, the FAA granted a production certificate to the Savannah plant for the new jet. Almost simultaneously, EASA certified the G650, meaning deliveries to the 27 member countries can begin immediately. "This is quite an achievement for Gulfstream," said Flynn. The FAA certified it in September. Certifications in other countries are expected to follow quickly.