Nothing like a brisk breakfast flight over the Swiss Alps
For the past six years at EBACE, Gulfstream has given groups of aviation journalists the opportunity to experience the cabin amenities of one of its business jets during a morning flight over the Alps. The initial flight in 2002 was in a G200, the model chosen because Gulfstream had purchased the type certificates for it and the smaller G100 from Israel Aircraft Industries the year before. This year, partly in recognition of the delivery of the 150th G200, the model took to the skies over Switzerland again.
The performance of the original G200, certified in December 1998 and called the Galaxy, suffered from a higher-than-planned operating weight, so Gulfstream immediately set about redesigning its interior. The shedding of some 600 pounds brought performance back to the level intended by Galaxy’s designers, according to Gulfstream officials.
IAI still builds and test flies the G200 and G150 (derived from the G100, which IAI called the Astra SPX) in cooperation with Gulfstream. IAI pilots then fly the green aircraft to Gulfstream’s facility at Dallas Love Field in Texas for paint, interiors and customer delivery.
Powered by two 6,040-pound-thrust Pratt & Whitney Canada PW306A turbofan engines, the G200 has a normal cruise speed of Mach 0.8, an NBAA IFR range with four passengers of 3,400 nm, a maximum cruise altitude of 45,000 feet and an mtow of 34,450 pounds.