Gulfstream G650 Resumes Test Campaign
On Friday, the wide-cabin Gulfstream G650 resumed flight testing, following the November 25 maiden flight of the first test aircraft (T1) that was cut short at 12 minutes due to “slight vibrations” in one of the gear doors. “We have identified the cause of the vibration in the landing-gear doors and are developing a permanent solution,” a Gulfstream spokeswoman told AIN. “We don’t expect the issue to cause any delays in completing the test plan or achieving certification.” Friday’s flight lasted 1 hour 45 minutes, during which time the aircraft’s handling qualities, engine operability and flap operation were tested, in addition to its pitot-static systems, avionics, hydraulic systems, electrical power generation and distribution, flight controls and cabin environmental and pressurization controls. According to Gulfstream, the evaluations were performed at airspeeds of up to 240 knots and altitudes of up to 9,500 feet. “The pilots’ reports indicate that the G650’s flying qualities were outstanding,” said senior vice president of programs, engineering and test Pres Henne. “We are excited to continue our flight-test program and look forward to certification in 2011.” Meanwhile, G650 T2 has been handed over to Gulfstream’s flight-test department. Ultimately, five test aircraft will participate in the G650 certification program. Entry-into-service is scheduled for 2012.