At EBACE, Gulfstream Reiterates G650 Is on Schedule
Although the April 2 crash of flight test G650 S/N 6002 has created some potential delays into the certification program, Gulfstream remains confident that the new large-cabin jet will achieve FAA approval by the end of this year, the Savannah, Ga.-based aircraft manufacturer said today at EBACE. Gulfstream still expects to deliver 12 green G650s by the end of this year and has orders for more than 200 of the ultra-large-cabin, ultra-long-range jet. According to Pres Henne, senior vice president, programs, engineering and test, “We’re working with the NTSB [on the investigation]. They are responsible for announcing the causal factors. We’re working with the FAA on when we can safely resume flight testing. The accident occurred during a difficult test. This was an engine-out, low-speed, high-angle takeoff test. In the near-term, we’ll increase speeds a bit to get some margin,” he said. “We feel confident about the design,” said Gulfstream president Joe Lombardo. As to whether there will be delays in the certification processes, Lombardo said, “It’s most likely,” but he said they would not extend beyond year-end. All other aspects of the G650 certification program remain on track, except for flight test. On the production line, G650 S/N 6009’s airframe is complete and 6010 through 6013 are in process.