The largest, fastest and most expensive business jet in Gulfstream Aviation’s fleet, the G650, received its type certification from the US Federal Aviation Administration on September 12, 2012. The flagship aircraft is described by company president Larry Flynn as “a superlative aircraft, with the most technologically advanced flight deck in business aviation and the largest, most comfortable cabin in its class” and he continues, “we designed the G650 with significant input from our advanced technology customer advisory team, and we’re extremely proud of what our entire organization has accomplished with this aircraft.”
The twin-engine jet can comfortably accommodate up to 18 people, including a crew of 4. There are 12 select floor plans to choose from with wider seats, more aisle room and stateroom options for peaceful rest during long flights. The luxurious aircraft can be fitted with a full kitchen and bar, and the entertaining amenities include satellite phones and wireless Internet. The designers implemented an oval fuselage cross-section, which uses a flatter lower portion. The cabin is 8 ft. 6 in. wide and 6 ft. 5 in. tall with 18 cabin windows, the largest in its class at 28 inches in diameter. It also has a low cabin altitude of 4,850 feet at FL510 and 3,300 feet at FL410, which the company says reduces fatigue, increases mental alertness and enhances productivity.
The plane, introduced in 2008, can fly nonstop legs of 7,000 nautical miles (13,000 km) at record-breaking maximum speeds of Mach 0.95, the closest any executive jet gets to the speed of sound. Average cruise speed is 0.85 to 0.90 Mach. With a total weight under 100,000 lbs. (45,360 kg), the versatile G650 delivers excellent takeoff and landing performance with a balanced field length of just 6,000 ft. or 1,829 m, which allows it to land in executive airports and avoid the busy international airports around the world.
Gulfstream built the first airplane intended for business use decades ago, and the G650 is the culmination of its efforts to set the highest standards of performance. The company has received 200 orders for the G650 and the first fully outfitted plane will be delivered to costumers at the end of 2012. The price is listed at around 65 million USD. ■