Gulfstream Sets More City-Pair Speed Records

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Gulfstream Aerospace said last week one of its G550 bizjets established three new city-pair records before 2006 ended, bringing to 10 the total number of records established by Gulfstream-operated G550s last year. The three new records were established by the same crew flying the same airplane more than 13,000 nm in eight days; Gulfstream senior international captain Ray Wellington and Gulfstream experimental test pilot Scott Martin were in the front office for all three flights. Additionally, flight attendant Linda Barr was aboard at least two of the flights, one of which included 12 passengers. Gulfstream said it has submitted applications to the National Aeronautic Association -- which is the U.S. organization providing observers for many record attempts and compiling the data necessary to certify records -- to confirm each of these new city-pair records.

According to Gulfstream, the G550 took off from San Juan, Puerto Rico, at 7:43 p.m. local time on Dec. 13, then flew 5,841 nm at an average cruise speed of Mach 0.83 with a crew of three plus 12 passengers, landing in Cape Town, South Africa, the following day at 1:55 p.m. local time. Total flight time was 12 hours and 11 minutes; the G550 landed with 5,000 pounds of fuel remaining. Three days later on Dec. 17, the same flight crew and nine passengers took off from Cape Town at 9:18 a.m. local time and flew 3,677 nm into headwinds averaging 46 knots and landed eight hours and 55 minutes later at 1:15 p.m. local time in Maldonado, Uruguay. Finally, Dec. 20, the same plane returned to Cape Town, with wheels up at 8:21 a.m. local time. After six hours and 51 minutes, 7:12 p.m. local time the same day, it landed in Cape Town, covering 3,610 nm.