High-Speed, Gulfstream Style
The majority of production aircraft will never set a record of any kind but Gulfstream's flagship G550 already has 15 speed records to its credit after only a couple of years on the market. The ultra-long-range bizjet went from Newark to Tel Aviv, a distance of 5,031 NM in nine hours and 52 minutes, which looks like an average speed of 510 knots (or Mach .86, according to Gulfstream). However, this was no stripped down, race-ready version of the G. Although the pilots were going for a record, the company said it was a passenger-carrying flight and the five passengers on board went about their business as normal. It's not just the plane that can hit the high Mach numbers. The on-board Internet service, called Broad Band Multi-Link allows passengers to email, surf and perform any other Web-based function at 10 times the speed of other systems, according to Gulfstream President Bryan Moss. The Internet service is so far available only on North American flights but Europe and the Middle East will be added next year.