G650 On Track For 2012 Deliveries
Gulfstream Aerospace has received a provisional type certificate for its new Gulfstream G650 from the FAA, the company announced last week. The approval keeps the company on track to start completing the interiors and deliver the first jets to customers in the second quarter of next year. The $65 million jets will be the fastest in the civilian fleet, squeaking past Cessna's Citation X with speeds up to Mach .925. Test flights were suspended for two months after four people died in a crash during flight testing in April, but the program now is meeting the original delivery schedule, the company said.
The provisional certificate allows a manufacturer to operate the aircraft for demo flights, crew training, and service testing, but deliveries to customers must wait for the final certification approval. The two-step certification process helps manufacturers better manage their schedules, according to Larry Flynn, president of Gulfstream. Both the Gulfstream V and the G550 were issued PTCs before receiving full certification. More than 20 G650s are now in various stages of initial or final phase production and seven of the jets have flown in preparation to start the final phase of manufacturing. The G650 can fly for more than 14 consecutive hours, the company said, with a range of up to 7,000 nm.