Gulfstream G700 (Photo: Gulfstream Aerospace)
Gulfstream's G700 has checked off numerous development flight tests with five aircraft flying and 1,100 hours accumulated since the first took to the skies on Feb. 14, 2020. (Photo: Gulfstream Aerospace)

G700 Program Reaches 1,100-hour Mark

Gulfstream's new flagship remains on track for market entry in late 2022 with certification flight trials anticipated for later this year.

One year after Gulfstream Aerospace first flew its new G700 flagship, the flight-test program has accumulated 1,100 flight hours and completed most of the development testing in preparation for certification flight trials, keeping the aircraft on track for market entry in late 2022.

The first flight-test aircraft flew on Feb. 14, 2020, and Colin Miller, Gulfstream senior vice president of innovation, engineering, and flight, told reporters that the flight-test program “has continued uninterrupted ever since.”

That first aircraft has been used for envelope expansion, reaching as high as 54,000 feet and Mach 0.999. Jake Howard, the lead test pilot for the G700 program, noted that the dive speed that Gulfstream must test to for the G700 is Mach 0.995. When asked about potential supersonic testing, he said there was no “intent to intentionally” fly beyond that speed in testing.

In addition to high speed, the aircraft has performed low-speed and stall tests, including with wing ice shapes. Throughout the flight regime the aircraft has “performed remarkably well, flying virtually squawk free” and is meeting performance expectations, Miller said. Meanwhile, its Rolls-Royce Pearl 700 engines are performing “fantastically well; they are extremely efficient giving us great results for speed, range, and low emissions,” he added.

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Gulfstream has since added four more aircraft to the program, with the fifth and final flight-test aircraft flying in late October. In addition, two more aircraft will be dedicated to interior testing and associated supplemental type certificate work. The first of these two, Miller said, is in the late stages of outfitting.

The flight-test program has completed its “initial paces” in field performance testing, demonstrating a full gross-weight balanced field testing of about 6,250 feet with a typical landing distance of around 2,500 feet. 

Gulfstream further has flown a G700 to Van Nuys and San Jose, California, as well as Chicago, to support sales and marketing. During those trips, Miller said that the company tested the avionics in a variety of conditions and approach procedures “proving out the robustness” of the Symmetry flight deck.

The G700 comes with a predictive landing performance system that Miller termed a breakthrough and said is designed to shield against runway overrun and warn pilots to go around when necessary. The flight trials have further been examining the performance of the new dual HUD, which includes an enhanced vision system and synthetic vision. The enhanced vision system will be given landing credit down to touchdown and rollout, Miller said.

As for the program schedule, Miller conceded the pandemic may have forced the shifting around of a few parts of the test program but that the company has been able to keep the flight tests and lab work on track to keep the program on its intended pace. This has included folding in remote work where possible.

The aircraft, the largest in the Gulfstream portfolio with up to five living areas and 20 windows the size of those on the G650, will be certified to fly 7,500 nautical miles and at speeds of Mach 0.925. Miller noted that he discovered that once he flew the aircraft, he immediately forgot how large it was and called it responsive and predictable.