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Gulfstream G650 completes certification milestones for speeds, hydraulics & fly-by-wire flight controls

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp.'s ultra-large-cabin, ultra-long-range G650 continues to make significant progress in the flight-test program on the path to type certification later this year from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

As of Jan. 25, the four aircraft in the flight-test program had accumulated more than 2,675 flight hours over 820 flights. The aircraft is expected to enter service the middle of this year. It received a provisional type certificate from the FAA on Nov. 18, 2011, with the full FAA type certificate expected mid-year.

"We're steadily moving through the test points required for FAA and EASA type certification," said Pres Henne, senior vice president, Programs, Engineering and Test, Gulfstream. "The closer we get to certification, the more excited we get to put these planes in the hands of our customers. The G650 is meeting our performance expectations."

Over the past several months, the aircraft has been flown by FAA pilots in certification tests to confirm its stall speeds and minimum control airspeeds. Additionally, it has completed certification testing of its hydraulics, the fly-by-wire flight controls and its fuel system, including determining the unusable fuel quantity, operating under negative g-force and operations with hot fuel.

The four aircraft in the flight program have also conducted a number of company tests to gather the final data in preparation for upcoming certification testing. The aircraft completed final testing of the avionics, which includes the flight management system and automatic flight control system.

In support of approval for flight into known icing, the aircraft was flown with artificial ice shapes to determine aerodynamic performance and confirm acceptable handling qualities in the most adverse conditions. These series of flights were conducted out of Gulfstream's flight-test center and closely monitored by aerodynamics and flight dynamics engineering specialists to ensure the aircraft performed per expectations.

EASA has finished its initial evaluation of the aircraft in preparation for certification.

The G650 has flown for more than 14 consecutive hours, with flight-test data confirming its ability to achieve 7,000 nm (12,964 km) at Mach 0.85. The aircraft has also demonstrated 5,000 nm (9,260 km) at Mach 0.90. With a top speed of Mach 0.925, the G650 is the world's fastest civil jet.

Press release issued by Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation on February 15, 2012


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