Gulfstream’s new G600 flew for the first time Saturday, taking off from Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport at 1:50 p.m. for a flight that lasted almost three hours. First flight was slightly ahead of schedule and kicks off the flight test certification program. Two more flight test aircraft are in final preparation for flight and will join the program in early 2017. Gulfstream hopes to begin deliveries in 2018. “This flight went exactly as anticipated, thanks in large part to the investments we have made in our ground-based laboratories,” Burns said. “This flight is the perfect way to wrap up 2016 and set the tone for a successful 2017.”
Like all big Gulfstreams, the new model goes fast (.925 Mach maximum speed) and has plenty of range (up to 6,200 nautical miles) but it’s the ride that the company is crowing the most about. Twelve hours in even the most luxurious aircraft takes a physical toll so Gulfstream is touting the low cabin altitude and 100 percent fresh air pressurization as selling points. It also has larger windows than other aircraft along with high-speed satellite internet.