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.
Gulfstream Aerospace GIV, Sugar Land, Texas, Nov. 11, 2007–When the GIV touched down at the Sugar Land Regional Airport, the nosegear collapsed, substantially damaging the jet. The pilot told investigators, “When the nosewheels touched down, a violent vibration or shaking was felt, full back force was applied to the control yoke and the vibration eased until the aircraft slowed further and the vibration returned.”
Some feel that the rise in publicly owned aviation companies managed by MBAs has resulted in a decline in personal service.
Deliveries of turbine business aircraft in the first half of this year were up slightly, reflecting a stagnant U.S. economy. Total deliveries, which had jumped from 397 in the first half of 1999 to 502 in the same period last year, showed a smaller gain this year (14 percent vs 26 percent), with 572 deliveries in the first half. Part of the gain can be attributed to Piper’s re-entry into the turbine fold.
Although Gulfstream Aerospace has repeatedly denied speculation that it is working on a G600, thought to be a composite-fuselage, long-range widebody business twinjet, last month’s announcement of four new directors at the Savannah, Ga. headquarters hints that the company is looking at new design elements.
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.
Bill Boisture, who resigned suddenly in April as president of Gulfstream Aerospace, has been on the job for the last 30 days as president of NetJets. He joined the Woodbridge, N.J.-based fractional-ownership operator early last month and is directing the company’s North American operations out of Columbus, Ohio.
Gulfstream reported delivering 19 jets in the third quarter, two more than the same period last year. But for the nine months ending September 30, Gulfstream delivered 53 aircraft this year versus 68 last year and 76 in 2001. Gulfstream projects it will deliver 50 large aircraft (G300 and above) this year. The company delivered 85 aircraft last year and 101 in 2001.
Gulfstream Aerospace took the wraps off its newest model, the G450, at the NBAA Convention last month. The fourth example (S/N 4004) of the GIV-X (or next-generation GIV) was on static display at Orlando Executive Airport, along with two G550s, a G400, a G200 and a G100.
Gulfstream Aerospace's announcement yesterday of four new directors at its Savannah, Ga. headquarters hints at design elements for the widely expected G600, which is thought to be a composite-fuselage, long-range widebody business twinjet. Gulfstream has repeatedly denied such speculation, and a spokesman today maintained there officially is no G600 model, even though the company holds trademarks for this model name, the G625 and G675.