Gulfstream Aerospace announced on April 11, 2016, that it had recently joined the wing to the fuselage on the first Gulfstream G600 flight test article (FTA), signifying steady progress in the G600 program.
As production continues for the G600 FTA, the Gulfstream G500 flight test program also achieved several milestones including receiving the program’s first Type Inspection Authorization (TIA) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA issued the TIA for inlet compatibility and allowed Gulfstream to perform this testing for certification credit.
The G500 flight test program officially began May 18, 2015, when the first G500 flight test article, T1, completed its debut flight. Since then, T1 has reached a maximum speed of Mach 0.995, a maximum altitude of 53,000ft (16,154m) and has recently completed its 100th flight. The test fleet, which includes four flight test articles (T1-T4), has accumulated more than 800 hours of flying time.
T1 is focused on envelope expansion and is currently conducting flying qualities testing. The aircraft has also completed flutter testing and initial stalls and ice shapes testing.
T2 recently completed inlet compatibility testing at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, USA. The test exposed the G500’s Pratt & Whitney Canada PW814GA engines to high wind conditions by using a large blower, which artificially generates winds of up to 45mph (72 km/h).
The aircraft was positioned at various angles to demonstrate that the engine functions properly from idle to takeoff power during crosswind and tailwind conditions. With the completion of inlet compatibility testing, T2 returned to flight loads validation and aircraft systems testing.
T3 has recently completed cold soak testing and will now begin testing wing anti-ice systems. As part of that testing, the aircraft made its first flight outside the USA, reaching into Canadian air space to complete the cold soak evaluation. T3 is focused on testing the all-new Symmetry Flight Deck, the ice-protection system and various other mechanical systems.
T4, the testbed for avionics, flammable fluid drainage, water ingestion and select systems (water/waste, lighting, fire protection), just received the latest software update in order to begin testing the updated avionics system.
The fifth test aircraft, P1, is at the Savannah Air Center completions center, where it is receiving an outfitted interior and will be used to test the cabin elements.
The G500 is slated to receive type certification in 2017 and deliver in 2018. The G600 is projected to enter service in 2019.
April 15, 2016