Gulfstream has demonstrated the steep approach capabilities of its G500 and G600 business jets, ahead of certification for the capability next year.
The US-aircraft maker’s Gulfstream G500 and Gulfstream G600 successfully demonstrated steep-approach landings into London City Airport in the UK, as well as Lugano Airport and Sion Airport in Switzerland. The milestone demonstrations of low-speed handling and short-field landing capability were also achieved at the same time as a new city-pair record run.
Following official Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) steep-approach certification, anticipated next year, the G500 and G600 will gain access to challenging airports such as London City, which requires the certification due to its short runway and stringent noise-abatement requirements, as well as Lugano and similar airports located in the mountainous region of Switzerland. Lugano’s short runway, situated in the mouth of a valley, requires an extremely steep approach.
“The takeoff and landing performance we demonstrated in Europe was key in the process of securing customers’ access to even more locations worldwide, saving them even more valuable hours per year,” said Mark Burns, president of Gulfstream. “Our customers already benefit from Gulfstream’s high-speed performance advantage when flying, and the investment we’ve made in flight testing and continuous improvement delivers even more value with increased flexibility.”
Following the landing demonstrations, the G500 and G600 each claimed city-pair speed records, departing London City Airport at average cruise speeds of Mach 0.90 and above. The G500 flew 3,077 nautical miles/5,699 kilometers to Teterboro Airport near New York in just 6 hours and 46 minutes, besting the previous record by 12 minutes despite challenging headwinds. The G600 set its own speed record from London to Seattle, completing its 4,235-nm/7,843-km flight in just 8 hours and 39 minutes.
Both flights landed with fuel reserves exceeding National Business Aviation Association minimums under Instrument Flight Rules. The flights are pending approval by the US National Aeronautic Association and Fédération Aéronautique Internationale in Switzerland for recognition as world records. To date, the ultra-efficient G500 and G600 hold more than 60 city-pair speed records combined.
In addition, the G600 has officially received FAA and EASA certification of improved takeoff performance operations on grooved runways in wet conditions with G500 certification is on track for early 2022. This improved aircraft performance provides customers with increased flexibility and range options when operating in wet runway conditions.