More Airframer News: Gulfstream G150 Certified Ahead Of Schedule...

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Gulfstream may soon be giving Cessna lessons in how to schedule designing and certifying business jets. In recent years, Cessna's new-product development has produced little angst but lots of "mission accomplished" back-slapping as the company seemingly meets each and every one of its rollout, first-flight and certification goals. Now, Gulfstream has upped the ante by achieving both FAA and Israeli certification of its newest offering, the G150 mid-size jet. Receipt of the G150's paperwork came at least 10 weeks ahead of the previously announced "first quarter 2006" timetable and produced an added bonus: The newest Gulfstream is faster than forecast, with an MMO of 0.85 Mach. “The G150’s flawless flight test program allowed us to both satisfy certification requirements ahead of schedule and accurately measure and evaluate its performance capabilities,” said Pres Henne, senior vice president, programs, engineering and test, Gulfstream. “The success of this flight test program can be attributed to the outstanding collaboration between Gulfstream and Israel Aircraft Industries; the availability of two test aircraft to conduct the various performance and systems tests; and the actual G150, which performed significantly better than we had imagined during original development.”

Other performance improvements, when compared to early projections, include an increase in the G150’s maximum gross weight by 100 pounds -- split equally among fuel capacity and payload -- without modifications, an increase in maximum range by 250 nautical miles to 2,950 and better balanced field length of 5,250 feet. The results mean a slightly heavier G150 can take off from shorter runways and fly farther, not a bad deal at all. The Gulfstream G150 was rolled out in Tel Aviv on Jan. 18 of this year and took its first flight May 3. Since then, two test aircraft flew a combined 475 flight hours, averaging 3.6 hours per flight. “We are very excited at the prospect of our first true mid-size Gulfstream business jet entering service next year,” said Bryan Moss, president, Gulfstream. The company had a G150 flight-test aircraft at the static display and a cabin G150 mockup was present in Gulfstream's booth. The mockup will continue its North American tour of GA airports; look for G150s to start popping up on a ramp near you.