Gulfstream 450 Makes Way For 500
Gulfstream will build the last 450 model business jet in 2018 as its new G500 enters service. At a news conference at NBAA, company officials updated several programs, noting that despite the softer market, Gulfstream is maintaining the schedule for its new aircraft. There are now five G500 test airplanes flying and more than 1,750 hours have been accumulated. One of them got to 53,000 feet and .995 Mach. One of the test aircraft is at the static display at Orlando Executive Airport. The follow-on aircraft is the G600 and crews in Savannah are getting ready for first flight of the first test vehicle.
The 500 and 600 bring fully updated avionics and interiors to the midsize offerings. There are 10 touchscreen panels in the cockpits. The interiors of both new aircraft will have features borrowed from the top-of-the-line G650. Meanwhile, although new orders have slowed, Gulfstream continues to chip away at the huge backlog for its flagship G650. So far 230 of the ultra-long-range aircraft have been delivered.