above> video courtesy of gulfstream
this summer DesignApplause was invited to checkout the new business jet gulfstream g500 & g600 at midway airport in chicago. the visit proved very interesting as these new aircraft introduce several industry and in-their-class firsts. here are highlights of our visit. (note: this article was updated 18 december 2016)
above> published on october 2014 / gulfstream unveils the new g500 and g600 jets: a fully-built prototype of the g500 and a cabin mockup for the larger g600 in an event at its savannah headquarters / video courtesy of aintv
[ design ]
gulfstream started with a clean sheet on these planes with boundless possibilities to explore. both models have a four circular arcs cross-section fuselage. the g600 at 96 feet 1 in / 29.29 m is 5 ft / 1.5 m longer than the g500 though the interior difference is only 3.5 ft / 1.1 m. the range of the g600 is 6,200 nm vs 5,000 nm. both aircraft have 14 iconic panoramic windows. both accommodate 2 pilots and 18 passengers.
the wing is a supercritical design with a 0.87 to 0.88 drag divergence mach number depending upon lift coefficient. it’s based on the g650’s wing design with the same 36° sweep. the g600 wing will be 8 feet (2.4 m) wider than the g500, allowing for 10,000 pounds (4,500 kg) of additional fuel. both models have a new tail design based on the aerodynamic shape and systems of the g650’s tail. the wings are designed and manufactured by gulfstream.
the airframe is primarily composed of high-strength aluminum alloys with limited use of steel and titanium alloys. the horizontal stabilizer, fairings, main landing gear doors, rudder and elevators, radome, rear pressure bulkhead and winglets are composite materials. the semi-monocoque fuselage structure is made of stressed skin, frame and longeron.
above> published on august 2016 / gulfstream’s director of interior design, tray crow shows some of the design changes to the g600 cabin mockup / video courtesy of aintv
[ interior ]
the cabin’s elements are modular and easily custom configured: the g500 has three flexible areas, the g600 four. the classic aesthetic is the norm but gulfstream invites buyers to test gulfstream’s design department for a more custom look. both models feature a width of 7 feet 11 inches/2.41 meters and a height of 6 feet 4 inches/1.93 meters.
the aircraft have forward and aft lavatories and a full-size galley that can be located either forward or aft. the galley features a steam oven as an option, an interchangeable beverage maker and a refrigerator that can be placed above or below the counter, depending on the desire for storage or counter space. customizable flooring options like stone and wood can be selected for the entry, galley and lavatories.
the cabin environment influences the travel experience while airborne and upon arrival. the large iconic gulfstream panoramic windows provide captivating views and bathe the cabin in natural light. only 100 percent fresh air, replenished every two minutes, fills the cabin.
gulfstream acousticians engineered the interior to be quiet enough for passengers to converse in normal tones even while in flight. the interior is pressurized to no more than 4,850 feet above sea level/1,478 meters, even at a maximum altitude of 51,000 feet/15,545 meters. commercial cabin pressure is typically 8,000 feet/2438.4 meters though newer planes made of composites are pressurized at 6,000 feet/1828.8 meters. commercial higher interior altitude pressure is the cause of swelling of the feet among other discomforts.
by contrast, the g500 & g600 combination of clean, replenished air and a low interior altitude helps reduce the effects of jet lag so passengers arrive feeling more refreshed and alert.
below> what it takes to design the interior for an all-new family of aircraft / video courtesy of gulfstream
[ engines ]
the g500/g600 will be powered by the pratt & whitney canada pw800 which was originally conceived for the cessna citation columbus program. the pw800 is based on the pratt & whitney geared turbofan core without the gear reduction. the departure from rolls-royce aero engines is a first for gulfstream. the pw800 features class-leading fuel efficiency and low noise and emissions.
[ systems ]
electric and hydraulic systems are from the g650, as the digital air data computers, secondary power distribution with electronics, cabin acoustical treatment, primary avionics, satcom, improved cabin management system and digital fly-by-wire system. the oxygen, cabin pressurization, landing gear control, aircraft health and trend monitoring systems are adapted from the g650. the auxiliary power unit is a honeywell htg400g.
above> published on october 2014 / aviation week’s fred george takes a look at the new features being introduced in the cockpit while guy norris discusses the pratt & whitney pw800 engine / video courtesy of aviation week
[ flight deck ]
here’s where things get interesting. it is equipped with bae systems active sidesticks, appearing to be mechanically linked by being electrically back-driven, the first civil aircraft to be so. the honeywell symmetry flight deck achieves another flight deck breakthrough. as business aviation’s leading innovator, gulfstream debuts two revolutionary technologies in the all-new g500 and g600. the immersive, intelligent integration of the new flight systems enhances efficiency and further improves safety.
active control sidesticks replace the control columns, creating more space and better comfort for pilots. the sidesticks are digitally linked to provide the same response and control of a traditional pedestal-mounted yoke to ensure that both pilots see and feel every maneuver and control input the other pilot makes.
ten integrated touch screens eliminate the majority of flight deck switches to reduce workload and improve how pilots interact with onboard systems. using gulfstream’s immersive phase-of-flight™ intelligence, the touch screens display a structured task list and selection options needed for a specific phase of flight.
a next-generation enhanced vision system heightens pilot awareness in low visibility. an improved infrared sensor boosts resolution by 400 percent, and camera advancements provide a wider field of view. the evs is linked to a head-up display, allowing the pilot to view images on a transparent screen positioned in his or her field of vision. gulfstream is the first business aviation company to offer this third-generation evs, and it comes as standard equipment on the g500 and g600.
above> published on november 2015 / the g500 first flight test with experimental test pilot scott martin and his take on all-new ‘symmetry flight deck™’ / video courtesy of gulfstream
[ happenings update ]
17 December 2016 – g600 flew for the first time (below)
5 august 2016 – g500 first production test flight
above> the gulfstream g600 first flight-test program is progressing ahead of schedule / video courtesy of gulfstream
the g500 is slated to enter service in 2017 and the g600 in 2018.
new gulfstream g600 list price: $54.5 million usd
new gulfstream g550 list price: $61.5 million usd