Second Gulfstream G250 takes to the air

The G250 features a one-piece rudder made of composites and manufactured using resin transfer molding process.

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Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. (Savannah, Ga., USA) announced on March 25 that a second large-cabin, mid-range Gulfstream G250 completed its first flight. Gulfstream, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, designed and built the super mid-size business jet in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Flown by IAI chief test pilot Ronen Shapira, the test article — called serial number (S/N) 2002 — departed from Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv at 2:45 p.m. local time on March 24. The aircraft flew for 1 hour and 57 minutes, reaching an altitude of 20,000 ft/6,096m and a speed of 195 knots.

The G250 features a one-piece rudder fabricated from composites. See link at right for full story on this structure.

The first test article — S/N 2001 — has amassed more than 70 flight hours since its first flight in December, and has already reached its maximum certified speed and altitude — Mach 0.85 and 45,000 ft/13,720m. The G250 flight-test and certification plan involves three aircraft and an estimated 1,300 hours of 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 S/N 2003 on systems functionality and reliability. Evaluation of the airframe structure and new PlaneView TM 250 avionics package is under way, with testing of the fatigue article to begin later this year.

“We are very pleased with the progress that we’ve made,” said Pres Henne, senior vice president, Programs, Engineering and Test, Gulfstream. “Both aircraft have performed wonderfully. We have a lot of work ahead, but we are excited about where we are.”

David Dagan, corporate vice president and general manager, Commercial Aircraft Group, IAI, said, “The successful first flight is an indication of the excellent progress we're making in our path toward certification. The first two aircraft performed exactly as expected. This is a tribute to our use of the most advanced technology, development and production techniques available, not to mention the combined talent of IAI and Gulfstream.”

The first G250 rolled out of the IAI manufacturing facility in Tel Aviv under its own power on Oct. 6, 2009. It is on schedule for type certification in 2011.