Gulfstream Aerospace 550 Gulfstream. 2023

Kraków 2023-12-18

Gulfstream Aerospace 550 Gulfstream.

Gulfstream Aerospace 550 Gulfstream M-TFKR. 2012 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
Gulfstream Aerospace 550 Gulfstream M-TFKR. 2012 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

Gulfstream Aerospace G-V Gulfstream HB-IMJ. 2014 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
Gulfstream Aerospace G-V Gulfstream HB-IMJ. 2014 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

History of Gulfstream Aerospace.

Gulfstream Aerospace was founded as a division of Grumman.

On December 5, 1929, Leroy Grumman and four other investors formed a company to produce aircraft at an old factory in Baldwin on Long Island, New York. The company was named Grumman because Leroy Grumman was its largest investor. Production began on January 2, 1930. The first products were aluminum frames for trucks. Most of the production was purchased by the army (US NAVY). In 1930, the company developed floats for aircraft with retractable wheels. Good mastery of the production of aluminum alloy products resulted in the company starting the production of combat aircraft for the navy during World War II. These included the F4F Wildcat and F6F Hellcat, as well as the lesser-known Grumman F7F Tigercat and Grumman F8F Bearcat, and the TBF Avenger torpedo bomber. After World War II, the first turbojet-powered plane from Grumman was created and it was the F9F Panther, followed by the F9F / F-9 Cougar, and the less known F-11 Tiger, from 1950. The company's major post-war success came in the 1960s, in the form of the A-6 Intruder and E-2 Hawkeye, and in the 1970s, the Grumman EA-6B Prowler and F-14 Tomcat.

Grumman participated in the Apollo and Space Shuttle space programs. In 1969, the company changed its name to Grumman Aerospace Corporation, and in 1978, it sold the Grumman-American Division to Gulfstream Aerospace.

During most of the Cold War, Grumman was the largest employer on Long Island. The company's designs were considered reliable and solid. They were often referred to as the "Grumman Iron Works". The distinguishing feature of Grumman's aircraft structures were their shapes with numerous curves, which resulted from excellent aerodynamic development. Where others used flat surfaces and sharp transitions, Grumman's airframes had smooth transitions. As the company grew, it had to move. First to Valley Stream, then Farmingdale, finally Bethphage. However, all in New York on Long Island. In the 1980s, the plants already occupied 24 square kilometers. At its peak (1986), the company employed 23,000 employees. With the end of the Cold War, military orders dropped dramatically. In 1994, the remnants of Grumman merged with Northrop and became part of Martin Marietta.

The 1990s were a time of good development for the company. In 1994, Gulfstream Aerospace signed a five-year contract with NetJets. NetJets is an American company that sells partial ownership or shares (so-called fractional ownership) of private company aircraft. In this way, a private company can use the aircraft by sharing it with another, which reduces costs and allows for better use of the equipment at its disposal. NetJets Inc. was founded in 1964 as Executive Jet Aviation. It was the first private aircraft charter and aircraft management company in the world.

In 1996, Gulfstream Aerospace opened a 136,000-square-foot (12,630 m2) service center in Savannah for $16 million. In the following years, service points were established in many countries.

In 1998, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation acquired K-C Aviation from Kimberly-Clark for $250 million in cash. The acquisition included K-C's 1,200 employees and facilities in Dallas, Appleton, Wis., and Westfield, Mass. K-C Aviation was the largest independent corporate aircraft finishing center in North America, with annual revenues of approximately $200 million. They specialized in custom work. It also carries out extensive renovation and maintenance work.

Gulfstream V / 500 / 550.

The Gulfstream V aircraft was another aircraft from the family of private turbojet aircraft. The Gulfstream V was designated Model GV by the company. The plane made its first flight on November 28, 1995. The certificate was granted on April 11, 1997. The company won the Robert J. Collier Trophy in 1997 for the GV aircraft. For Gulfstream Aerospace's operations, the changes compared to Gulfstream IV were significant. First of all, the plane received new Rolls Royce BR 700-710 engines, with much greater thrust (2 x 65.6 kN). This allowed the operational ceiling to increase from 45,000 ft to 51,000 ft (16,000 m). The horizontal tail was rebuilt and its area increased by 30%. The wingspan was also increased from 74.6 ft to 93.5 ft. The fuselage was only extended by 5 ft. Operating weight increased by 15%. The range was 6,500 nautical miles (12,000 km). More than 200 examples were built, including the G500 and G550 variants and the C-37 military aircraft. In 1998, the plane cost approximately $36 million. The plane still has a maximum capacity of 19 passengers. The maximum take-off weight is 41,000 kg. The cruising speed has not changed. The G500 and G550 varieties were created in 2004.

In 1999, General Dynamics purchased Gulfstream Aerospace and owns it until now (2023). Also in 1999, a renovation center was opened in Savannah at a cost of $5.5 million. In 2001, Generał Dynamics added four American service facilities to Gulfstream Aerospace: in Dallas, Las Vegas, Minneapolis and West Palm Beach, Florida. These facilities formed General Dynamics Aviation Services, which maintains and repairs Gulfstream and other such aircraft. Additionally, the company has launched a flying service that performs inspections and repairs of aircraft at the customer's airport under warranty. Initially, it was the area of North America and the Caribbean. In 2003, the first foreign service center was opened at London Luton Airport.

In 2001, General Dynamics acquired Galaxy Aerospace and with it the Astra SPX and Galaxy midsize aircraft, which were renamed the Gulfstream G100 and Gulfstream G200. Since then, Gulfstream has had close contacts with Israel Aerospace Industries.

The Astra SPX aircraft is a machine developed by Astra (a subsidiary of IAI) in 1984. The first flight took place on March 19, 1984, and customer deliveries began in 1986. By the time the plant was taken over, 145 Astra SPX aircraft had been built. The Astra SPX plane takes 2 pilots and 6-9 passengers on board.

The Astra Galaxy or IAI Galaxy plane is an interesting plane for political reasons. Work on the project began in the late 1980s. It was a cooperation between IAI and the Soviet design bureau OKB Yakovlev. Because the CCCP fell apart and the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) was created, the program was officially launched only in 1993. However, the Muscovites had problems with everything. Even with agreeing on a work schedule. The partnership ended in failure in 1995. IAI tried to cooperate with EDAS Sogerma. Together they tried to create a regional plane. However, the addition of the Astra SPX wings made it impossible to enlarge the fuselage to accommodate three seats in a row. Therefore, the cabin can accommodate only 10 passengers and the plane was not suitable for the regional aircraft class, but as an emergency aircraft it was suitable. The first IAI Galaxy prototype was flown on December 25, 1997. In order for the machine to be sold worldwide, it had to be certified by the FAA. Now there is cooperation with Gulfstream and the takeover of the plant in Israel.

In 2002, Gulfstream Aerospace changed the names of its products using Arabic numerals instead of Roman numerals.

The newest Gulfstream aircraft.

The latest G550 aircraft adopted many elements from the G650. In 2004, the company once again received the Collier Trophy for the G550 aircraft. The G550 is the first civil aircraft with a type certificate issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that includes EVS (Enhanced Vision System) standard equipment on board the aircraft. The aircraft also features the first PlaneView cockpit, an integrated avionics suite with four 14-inch LCD screens in landscape format.

In 2005, Gulfstream began offering onboard internet connectivity - its Broadband Multi-Link (BBML) system.

Gulfstream also designed and developed a way to reduce the wave (sound) drag caused by an aircraft breaking the sound barrier, using a boom called the Quiet Spike. Quiet Spike is a telescopic nose that mitigates the effect of local sound speed exceedance.

In 2006, production of the Gulfstream 100 aircraft was discontinued. In its place, the Gulfstream 150 aircraft was put into production. The Gulfstream 150 aircraft became the company's first aircraft to meet the latest Stage 4 noise standards.

In 2006, Gulfstream Aerospace decided to expand its service center by creating a new one with 624,588 square feet (58,030 m2). The new center included a 42,600-square-foot (3,960 m2) paint hangar and other facilities. In this way, 1,100 new jobs were created. During this time, the Research and Development Office employed 750 new technicians and engineers, for whom a second Research and Development Office was established in 2007. In April 2007, a new production hall was put into use.

In 2005, Gulfstream Aerospace, together with the Israeli IAI, began a program to build a successor to the Gulfstream G200, also known as the IAI Galaxy. The new aircraft was designated Gulfstream G250. The prototype first flew on December 11, 2009 in Israel, and in July 2011, its designation was changed to Gulfstream G280. In some Asian countries, combining the numbers 2 and 5 has negative connotations. For example, in Mandarin, the number 250 can be interpreted as "stupid". The planes are manufactured in the Israeli IAI plants, from where they are transported to the finishing center in the United States. They are painted and retrofitted there. On September 4, 2012, the aircraft received FAA certification. In November 2012, deliveries of aircraft to customers began. By 2016, approximately 100 machines were sold. The Gulfstream G280 plane is one of the smaller ones. It takes 2 pilots and up to 10 passengers on board. It is powered by two Honeywell HTF7250G turbofan engines with a thrust of 2 x 33.9 kN. Range with four people on board is 3,600 nautical miles (6,667 km).

The Gulfstream G650 program officially launched in May 2005. The public presentation took place on May 13, 2008. The roll-out took place on September 29, 2009. The Gulfstream G650 aircraft made its first flight on November 25, 2009. Production started in 2008 and by 2017 over 230 units had been built. Compared to previous aircraft, the G650 is faster. Its cruising speed is Mach 0.925, making it the fastest aircraft in its class. In diving, the aircraft achieved Ma 0.995. The G650 aircraft is powered by Rolls Royce RB725 engines with a thrust of 71.6 kN. Max takeoff weight is 83,500 lb (37,876 kg).

Unfortunately, on April 2, 2011, one of the prototypes crashed while attempting to take off on one engine. The blame was placed on the test crew (two pilots and two flight engineers), who could no longer express their version of events. The remaining test aircraft were grounded for some time. The accident was widely commented on. The crew simulated a take-off during which one of the engines failed. The plane reached the correct V2 speed - 135 knots (250 km/h) and the crew lifted the plane, then it stalled and the plane fell on the wing. After the disaster, the speed of V2 was increased to 150 knots (280 km/h). There have been several such cases in the history of commercial aviation. The most famous was the crash of the Comet plane taking off from Campino in Rome. The Comet plane was fully loaded and the weather was hot and humid. The captain was a perfectionist and flew strictly according to procedures. There was an accident, the machine stalled and crashed. Fortunately, no one died. Because the Comets were selling very well, pressure was put on the captain, who signed a report in which he was blamed.

On September 7, 2012, the G650 aircraft was certified and deliveries of the aircraft to customers began. The price of the G650 aircraft increased significantly compared to its predecessors and started at $63 million in 2012.

In 2013, the offer included the G650ER version, with an increased range of up to 7,500 nautical miles (13,900 km). However, the aircraft's cruising speed was reduced to Mach 0.85 to reduce fuel consumption. The aircraft performed test flights from Hong Kong to Teterboro, New Jersey, USA (7,494 nautical miles) and from Los Angeles to Melbourne.

The G650 aircraft received a revised fuselage, which is now an oval, measuring 8 ft 6 in (2.59 m) wide and 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m). this resulted in additional cabin floor space. But the plane can still take a maximum of 18 passengers. The hull is still metal. Composites were used in the tail, engine nacelles, floor structure and others. The oval windows are as much as 28 in (0.71 m). The control system is completely fly-by-wire, without any mechanical duplication. The control surfaces are moved by a double hydraulic system. Similar control systems were first used in the competitive Dassault Falcon 7X. After the G650, the Embraer Legacy 500 aircraft also received such a system.

In November 2010, Gulfstream Aerospace expanded its plant in Savannah at a cost of $500 million over seven years. 1,000 new jobs were created. In turn, a new service hangar with an area of 75,000 sq m was opened in the service center in Luton and London. In this way, the service center can fully service all Gulfstream aircraft, including the newest G650.

On May 18, 2015, the new G500 was flown, and on December 17, 2016, the new G600. It is planned that the machines will receive certificates in 2017. The cross-section of the G500 and G600 hull is identical to the G650 hull. The hull received more windows. As many as 14 pieces. The G500's wings have a longer span to accommodate additional fuel (10,000 pounds, 4,500 kg). The whole rear tail section is adopted from G650. The G600 is even bigger. But each of these planes takes 2 pilots and 19 passengers on board. The airframe was made mainly of various aluminum alloys with some use of steel and titanium. However, the share of composites is still limited. The composite is used to make landing gear covers, control surfaces, winglets, and engine nacelle plating. The electrical and hydraulic systems come from the G650. Just like the crew cockpit. However, the four main displays are made using touch technology. This resulted in the reduction of some physical switches that are less important for flight safety.

The G500 and G600 aircraft featured a significant change to the powerplant. Pratt & Whitney Canada PW800 engines were used, with a thrust of 67.36 kN (15,144 lbf) for the G500 and 69.75 kN (15,680 lbf) for the G600. The engine was successfully tested on the Cessna Citation Columbus aircraft. The PW800 engine is based on the Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan core, but without a gearbox. Honestly, this is a bit of a surprising solution for this type of aircraft. But an even bigger surprise is the abandonment of Rolls Royce engines, which have been used in Gulfstream aircraft since 1966. Perhaps Gulfstream wants to offer customers the ability to choose their powerplant, as is the case with larger commercial aircraft. The APU unit is the Honeywell HTG400G engine.

Despite their larger size and different engines, the range of the new aircraft is smaller than the G650ER and even Gulfstream V versions and amounts to: G500 5,000 nautical miles (9,260 km) and G600 6,200 nautical miles (11,482 km), respectively. This is probably the result of market marketing research.

Gulfstream Aerospace.

In January 2011, General Dynamics Aviation Services changed its name to Gulfstream to simplify its brand identity. Gulfstream currently owns and operates nine service centers worldwide, as well as one repair facility.

According to official data, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation is a subsidiary of General Dynamics. The date of establishment is assumed to be 1958. The headquarters is currently located in Savannah, Georgia, USA. In 2012, the company employed 11,500 people, and in 2015 it employed over 13,300 employees. It has 12 main plants located in the USA, Europe and South America. In the period 1958-2015, Gulfstream Aerospace built over 2,000 business jets, VIP transport and highly specialized aircraft for military purposes. About 35 governments around the world use Gulfstream aircraft. In 2016, the following types were on production lines: G650, G650ER, G600, G550, G500, G450 and G280.

Gulfstream G550.

The Gulfstream G550 aircraft is a direct descendant of the Gulfstream GV aircraft. It made its first flight on August 31, 2001. It has been in series production since 2002. The G550 aircraft is powered by two Rolls Royce BR710 C4-11 turbofan engines with a thrust of 2 x 68.4 kN. The G550 aircraft has a length of 29.4 m, a span of 28.5 m, a height of 7.9 m. Empty weight is 21,900 kg, take-off weight is 41,270 kg, fuel weight is 18,730 kg, payload is 2,812 kg. Maximum speed Ma – 0.885, cruising speed Ma – 0.8. The planes purchased by the Republic of Poland carry 16 passengers. The Gulfstream G550 aircraft received FAA certification on August 14, 2003. In May 2003, Gulfstream received the Collier Trophy for the second time. This time for the G550 aircraft. The G550 aircraft has become a popular aircraft for VIP transport, for transporting the most important people in many countries and in the air forces of many countries. By 2015, over 500 machines had been built. In parallel, the Gulfstream G500 aircraft was being developed, with a much shorter range and without the Enhanced Vision System (EVS). The lack of this system meant that customers showed little interest in the plane and ultimately only 10 planes were built.

Gulfstream G550 registration M-TFKR.

The Gulfstream G550 aircraft, registration M-TFKR, was manufactured in 2008. It received serial number No. 5220. From December 6, 2009, it was used by TAG Aviation with registration G-TFKR, and then from September 10, 2010, by Private (Tele-Fonika Kable) with registration M-TFKR. The letter "M" in the registration stands for Isle of Man. The Isle of Man retained extensive autonomy. It is not subject to UK legislation and has no representative in the UK Parliament. However, the head of state is the British monarch.

Gulfstream G-V registration HB-IMJ.

Gulfstream G-V registration HB-IMJ serial number No. 517. Produced in February 1997. From May 25, 1998, used by Sky Unlimited S.A., and then from December 2000, by G5 Executive, with the same registration. Engines 2 x Rolls-Royce BR700-710A1-10.

Written by Karol Placha Hetman