Gulfstream updates G250 certification progress

Gulfstream's composites-intensive G250 features a one-piece composite rudder manufactured using resin transfer molding.

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. (Savannah, Ga., USA) announced on Oct. 18 that the Gulfstream G250 has successfully demonstrated its best-in-class performance capability as part of the aircraft’s anticipated 2011 certification by the Civil Aviation Administration of Israel.

The aircraft, which Gulfstream designed in conjunction with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) in Tel Aviv, recently demonstrated its ability to meet the design requirement for maximum takeoff gross weight balanced field length of less than 5,000 feet. The aircraft has also shown excellent time-to-climb performance, achieving an altitude of 41,000 feet/12,497m in less than 20 minutes. Flight testing also verified cruise, fuel flow and range/payload predictions established at the outset of the G250’s development.

“We’re extremely satisfied with what we’re seeing,” said Pres Henne, senior vice president, Programs, Engineering and Test, Gulfstream. “The G250 is everything that our customers, who helped us design it, expected it to be.” The G250 flight-test program officially began on Dec. 11, 2009, with the first flight of Serial Number (S/N) 2001. Through Oct. 12, the three aircraft in the program have accumulated more than 360 hours over 115 flights.

The G250 makes extensive use of composites, including in its one-piece rudder (see link at right).

The flight-test and certification plan involves three aircraft and an estimated 1,300 hours of flight testing. Each aircraft is used for a specific series of tests, with S/N 2001 focused on in-flight performance and handling, S/N 2002 on avionics and loads, and S/N 2003 on functionality and reliability demonstrations. S/N 2003 will also be used to test the optional intercontinental package that enhances the aircraft’s availability. The package provides additional redundancy of the flight management, navigation and communications systems for enhanced dispatch capability for oceanic and remote-area operations.

The G250 offers the largest cabin and the longest range at the fastest speed in its class. With its twin Honeywell HTF7250G engines, the business jet is capable of flying 3,400 nautical miles/6,300 km at Mach 0.80. The G250 will be completed at the Gulfstream Center for Mid-Cabin Excellence in Dallas, Texas, USA.