At a gala celebration at its Savannah, Georgia, headquarters on Monday, Gulfstream Aerospace introduced two new options in its line of large-cabin business jets, one at each end of the spectrum of offerings. The $71.5 million G800 adds 500 nautical miles of range (8,000 NM) to that of its 10-foot-longer, larger-cabin G700 sibling, the in-development $75 million flagship of the Gulfstream fleet scheduled to enter service next year. Gulfstream rolled out an actual G800 test aircraft at the ceremony. Test aircraft “T1” is scheduled to begin flying by year-end. At the other end of the scale, the $34.5 million G400 updates the “entry level” of the large-cabin line (the smaller-cabin G280 is classed as super-midsize). The 4,200-NM-range G400 is slated to make its first flight in early 2023.
Gulfstream President Mark Burns told the Monday gathering that the newly confirmed variants have been in the works for a long time. “I’ve had to keep these models secret for years, so it’s a relief to finally be able to talk about them publicly,” he said. Gulfstream R&D began planning the G400 at the same time the company announced the G500 and G600 in 2014. The G800 was envisioned as a truncated, longer-range version of the G700 when Gulfstream publicly launched that program two years ago.
The G400, G500 and G600 all have slightly different variants of Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PW800 turbofan line, though they all share the same tail and fuselage cross-section. The G700 and G800 have the same wing, tail and fuselage cross section, and are both powered by Rolls-Royce Pearl 700 engines, expected to receive FAA certification early next year. The G700 and G800 have a common type rating for pilots. Except for the G650, which will ultimately be replaced by the G700/800, all large-cabin Gulfstreams will have the Honeywell Epic-based Symmetry flight deck with BAE Systems’ active control sidesticks. That commonality is meant to ease the cost and complexity of pilots transitioning up or down in the Gulfstream line. Further, the G400, G500 and G600 will all have the same pilot type rating.
The two new aircraft will undoubtedly be prominently featured on Gulfstream’s exhibit at next week’s National Business Aviation Association Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) in Las Vegas.