Gulfstream’s G500, which made its first test flight last May, will be capable of traveling nonstop from Los Angeles to London.
Gulfstream’s G500, which made its first test flight last May, will be capable of traveling nonstop from Los Angeles to London.

Gulfstream’s G500 & G600

These forthcoming models pay homage to the need for speed while offering long range, simplified operation and passenger comfort.

In October 2014, Gulfstream Aerospace formally launched two large-cabin jets designed to replace its G450 and G550 models: the G500 and the G600. The top speed for both aircraft is Mach 0.925, the same as for Gulfstream’s G650ER. With the introduction of the G500 and G600, all of the company’s large-cabin models will pay homage to the need for speed. 

Possible nonstop city pairs for the G500 include Istanbul to Cape Town, South Africa; Los Angeles to London; and San Francisco to Tokyo. The aircraft has a range of 5,000 nautical miles at Mach 0.85 and 3,800 nautical miles at Mach 0.90. The G600 has a range of 6,200 nautical miles at Mach 0.85 and 4,800 nautical miles at Mach 0.90. (Figures assume eight passengers.)

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The G500 made its first flight in May of this year. The manufacturer recently added two flight-test G500s to the fleet, and it has two more under construction. The company anticipates that it will obtain G500 type certification from the FAA and EASA in 2017 and begin deliveries in 2018. It expects to receive certification for the G600 in 2019. Gulfstream has set initial prices at $43.5 million for the G500 and $54.5 million for the G600. 

The Savannah production line that the company built for these aircraft promises to allow for more efficiencies than the flagship G650 offers; that aircraft already uses 80 percent fewer fasteners and 50 percent fewer parts than the legacy G450/G550. The G500 and G600 will incorporate the latest advances in aerodynamics with a new high-speed wing featuring an aggressive 36-degree sweep; The G600 wing is eight feet longer than the G500’s, enabling the aircraft to hold 10,000 pounds of additional fuel. 

Both new Gulfstreams were designed with simplicity in mind. The flight controls need just eight line-replaceable units as opposed to 16 on the G650; major inspections will be at 750-flight-hour intervals and are designed to be conducted along the less-cumbersome lines of the airline-style MSG-3 program; the G500 is also the first business aircraft manufactured with a Data Concentration Network (DCN), which significantly reduces cables, parts and weight. 

Power for the aircraft will come from Pratt & Whitney Canada’s new PW800 engines. The 16,000-pound-thrust class PW814GA and PW815GA powerplants have the same core technology used in the company’s geared turbofan airliner engines. They have a 10,000-hour time-between-overhaul limit (TBO) and no midlife-inspection requirement. 

The cabin cross section of each aircraft measures 91 inches wide and 74 inches tall—about seven inches wider and two inches taller than cabins in the G450 and G550—and they can be configured for up to 19 passengers. The G500 has three living areas and the G600 has up to four as well as an optional crew rest area. Both aircraft offer forward and aft lavatories, plus a full-size galley that can be located either forward or aft. The flexible galleys allow a high degree of customization and feature a four-cubic-foot refrigerator, a microwave/convection oven, an optional steam oven and an oversized sink.  

The roomy baggage compartment is accessible  in flight through the aft lavatory and has additional floor and ceiling tracking to allow for flexible loading. It incorporates fold-down shelving and space that can be configured to store golf clubs, ski gear or large suitcases. 

The G500 and G600 also feature a new passenger single-seat design with all seat controls located on the inboard armrests and pockets sculpted into the interior arms for more hip room. The aircraft borrow some architecture from the Elite interiors developed for the G650 (and later migrated to the G550 and G450), such as the high-tech display of galley and inflight entertainment equipment. 

For now, a 32-inch flat screen appears to be the largest monitor that can be mounted above a mid-cabin credenza while maintaining adequate access to emergency egress. However, Gulfstream executives stress that this is a largely new cabin design and likely not the final cut. Inflight-entertainment offerings in particular are expected to be enhanced between now and 2017. The cabins feature more built-in storage nooks in the sidewalls and seats as well as USB charging ports. 

Both aircraft provide a cabin altitude of 4,850 feet at 51,000 feet and 100 percent fresh air. The aircraft feature the same large oval windows that are on the G650, with dimming provided by a dual-roller-shade system. The cabin noise level for both new models is expected to be extremely quiet—less than 50 dBA. The latching mechanisms for the cabinetry are also quieter than on earlier models.

The aircrafts’ cockpits feature fly-by-wire controls and active-control sidesticks and the new touchscreen Symmetry flight deck, which is driven by Honeywell Primus Epic avionics. The avionics include Gulfstream’s enhanced vision, Honeywell’s synthetic vision with 3-D taxi and a head-up display system. The full three-axis digital fly-by-wire system offers benefits that include flight-envelope protection, stability augmentation, increased redundancy and reduced maintenance.

The streamlined and highly styled cockpit, which is finished in black leather with metallic accents, is the most striking feature of the aircrafts’ interiors. Most of the switchology found in earlier designs has been eliminated. Inputs are made through five Honeywell touchscreens with large, easy-to-view icons. Gulfstream’s familiar cursor-control devices (CCD) are integrated into the center console at the head of the hand grips. The console extends aft of the pilot seats, but it is lower-slung, making step-over entry and exit easier. The CCDs give each pilot control of three of the four main display screens and allow data to be shifted between them in the event of a failure. 

Out the windshield and over the nose, visibility is expansive. The gaspers are large and located to provide optimum ventilation. The new design Ipeco crew seats allow for multiple adjustments. The elbow rests behind the sidesticks also are adjustable, as are the rudder pedals. The sidewalls offer ample storage space for personal items. Two 110-volt power outlets are aft of the pilot seats.

What it all adds up to is a pair of speedy aircraft that offer simplified maintenance and operation, long range and greater passenger comfort. This formula paid off for Gulfstream on the G650 and it should translate well to these two new, albeit somewhat smaller, large-cabin aircraft.  

VIDEO BONUS: Take a tour of the G600 cabin.


Aviation industry veteran Mark Huber has reviewed aircraft for BJT since 2005.

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