Gulfstream rolled out its 500th and last Gulfstream IV early last month, but just as Mark Twain said, “Reports of its death are greatly exaggerated.” Although more than 3,000 Gulfstream employees, suppliers and guests gathered at the company’s facilities in Savannah, Ga., to witness N499GA (S/N 1499) being towed from the production hangar, the lineage will continue as the mid-range Gulfstream G300 and the long-range G400.
Grumman Gulfstream I
Gulfstream announced that it has received an STC for the installation of its Broad Band Multi-Link (BBML) high-speed Internet connection, giving buyers another choice for airborne access to the Web.
Third-quarter results show that Gulfstream is on its way to ending this year with significantly improved numbers in deliveries, earnings and sales. According to figures released by parent company General Dynamics, Gulfstream delivered a total of 57 green aircraft in the first nine months of this year, compared with 53 in the same period last year. Earnings and margin rates more than doubled.
Midcoast Aviation in East Cahokia, Ill., is offering customers BlackBerry connectivity. The company, based at St. Louis Downtown Airport, has already installed equipment to allow in-flight BlackBerry use in a Gulfstream IV and two Bombardier Global Expresses.
Air China Business Jet will launch its planned charter service with a Gulfstream IV, the first large-cabin Gulfstream to be based in China. The aircraft was officially delivered to Air China representatives at last month’s NBAA Convention in Orlando, Fla. The aircraft is being provided under an initial minimum one-year lease, which also gives Air China the option to purchase a new G200, G300 or G400 before the lease expires.
The surprise departure last month of Bill Boisture from Gulfstream after 10 years as its president and the naming of vice chairman Bryan Moss as his replacement tops a list of several major revelations over the last few months by the Savannah, Ga.-based manufacturer.
For aviation, the spirit of the 1950s could be said to have begun with Chuck Yeager’s breaking of the “sound barrier” in Glamorous Glennis, a rocket-powered Bell X-1, on Oct. 14, 1947. The World War that had dominated the first half of the 1940s was receding in memory, and mankind’s focus on ascending from the rubble was illustrated clearly by the advances in aviation.
The holding company for Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based regional Gulfstream International Airlines and Gulfstream Training Academy hopes to raise some $10.2 million through an IPO on the American Stock Exchange, according to a registration statement filed with the SEC early last month. The company plans to sell 1 million shares on the Amex under the symbol GIA.
“Today, 13 percent of all the world’s business jets are based in Europe,” said Larry Flynn, Gulfstream president for product support. “This is our largest market outside the United States. As such, we have ramped up our parts inventory to ensure our European operators as well as transient operators in Europe receive the parts they need, when they need them.”
Rolls-Royce, widely known for heavy engines, such as the Trent powering the Airbus A380 and Boeing B747, is in fact a pre-eminent provider of business jet engines and claims a 34 percent share of that market. The company delivered 328 engines for corporate aircraft last year, up from 250 in 2005. Rolls-Royce’s involvement with business aircraft began in 1958 with the Dart-powered Gulfstream I twin turboprop.