Almost supersonic: Gulfstream G700 hits Mach 0.99 on test flight

American airframer’s most advanced business jet promises to set new standards for the large segment

One of the oldest and most important manufacturers of business aircraft in the world, Gulfstream revealed this week that the G700, its newest corporate jet, has reached new performance standards. After conducting more than 100 test flights, the plane surpassed its operational speed and altitude limits.

In recent days, the aircraft reached an altitude of 54,000 feet (16,459 meters) and almost broke the sound barrier when flying at Mach 0.99 (1,234 km/h). According to Gulfstream, the G700 has a maximum operating altitude of 51,000 feet (15,545 m) and can fly up to Mach 0.925.

“These accomplishments at this stage in flight test point to the impressive maturity of the G700 program,” said Mark Burns, president, Gulfstream. “We designed and developed the G700 for our customers to fly safely, securely and efficiently while enjoying the same level of comfort as they do on the ground. With the largest galley in the industry, the utmost in technology, and the finest, freshest cabin environment, the G700 unlocks new opportunities in business-jet travel.”

G700 cabin (Gulfstream)

Derived from the G650, the new business jet is equipped with Pearl 700 (Rolls-Royce) turbofans and will be able to fly nonstop for 11,853 km at a cruising speed of Mach 0.9. Its main cabin can carry up to 19 people or 10 occupants if the lay-out is configured with bed-type seats.

Like other planemaker models, the G700 has large oval windows. It has a fuselage 3 meters longer than the G650, which makes the aircraft more capable and versatile, even including a suite and shower configuration. The jet also received larger fuel tanks to expand its range.

According to the Georgia state company, the G700 has a pressurization system with 100% fresh, never recirculated air, a low cabin altitude, whisper-quiet noise levels, and an indoor environment capable of minimizing the effect of jet lag.

Gulfstream, which carried out the inaugural flight of the G700 in February, plans to certify it by 2021, when the first units will be delivered. The estimated price of the business jet is $ 75 million.

Gulfstream expects to deliver the first G700 in 2021 (Gulfstream)


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