Business jet maker Gulfstream has launched two “next generation” aircraft, the G500 and G600, just days after its G650ER received certification from the FAA.
The all-new 19-passenger aircraft will be powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PW800 engines and will be capable of a cruise speed of Mach 0.9. At these speeds the G500 will have a range of 3,800nm (7,038km) and the G600 4,800nm (8,890km).
US based Flexjet, which offers fractional ownership in business aircraft, has signed up to be the launch customer for the G500, placing an order for 50 aircraft which includes firm orders and options for G450, G500 and G650, as well as a long-term MRO support agreement.
Middle East carrier Qatar Airways has also signed a memorandum of understanding with Gulfstream for 20 aircraft including the G500.
Honeywell and UTC Aerospace Systems are to supply components for the new business jets, while Gulfstream is set to fabricate the wings and stabilisers at two new purpose-built facilities at its plant in Savannah, Georgia.
The OEM expects the G500 to take its first flight in 2015, with type certification expected in 2017 and deliveries to begin in 2018. The G600 meanwhile is expected to enter service in 2019.
“The G500 and G600 are tremendous additions to our family of aircraft, filling a niche in an already extensive product line,” said Larry Flynn, president, Gulfstream. “In 2008, we introduced two game-changers in business aviation, the G650 and G280. Now, six years later, we’re introducing another pair of revolutionary aircraft.”