The History of Gulfstream: 1958 - Present
Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation: Pioneering Business Aviation
All business aviation, regardless of manufacturer, traces its roots to Gulfstream.
Roy Grumman, co-founder of Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, proposed the development of a purpose-built business aircraft at World War II’s end. He envisioned leveraging the company’s expertise from building robust Grumman warplanes to create scaled-down airliners that could facilitate the postwar economic boom. Thirteen years later, Grumman introduced the Gulfstream I™, an aircraft that revolutionized general aviation and positioned the company as an industry high-flyer, charting a course for all others to follow.
Gulfstream Flight Milestones
Gulfstream aircraft have grown their reputation for excellence in the decades since. A focus on innovation and a commitment to customer service are reflected in a history of industry firsts, record-setting aircraft, technological innovations, global service and support initiatives, and an expanding worldwide customer base. At Gulfstream, our history defines our future.
Gulfstream I First Flight
August 14, 1958 - Gulfstream I makes first flight.
The Gulfstream I introduced the world to the purpose-built business aircraft. The aircraft featured turboprop engines mounted atop low wings. The aircraft flew up to Mach 0.54 and had a maximum cruise altitude of 30,000 feet/9,144 meters with a range of 2,000 nautical miles/3,704 kilometers. The cabin accommodated up to 12 passengers when configured as a business aircraft. The Gulfstream I first flew on August 14, 1958 and entered service in 1959. During an 11-year production run, 200 Gulfstream I aircraft were produced, some are still in service today.
GII First Flight/GII First to Cross Atlantic
October 2, 1966 - Gulfstream GII makes first flight.
May 4, 1968 - Gulfstream GII becomes first business jet to cross Atlantic Ocean nonstop.
The Gulfstream GII™ gave the business flyer the ability to cross North America or the Atlantic Ocean nonstop. Design efforts began in 1960 with engineers striving to create a jet-powered Gulfstream. The jet engines were mounted on the rear of the fuselage and the tail modified in a T configuration. The aircraft flew up to Mach 0.85 and had a maximum cruise altitude of 45,000 feet/13,716 meters with a range of 2,600 nautical miles/4,815 kilometers. The cabin could accommodate up to 16 passengers in a business jet configuration. The GII became the first business jet to fly nonstop from the United States to Europe on May 4, 1968. More than 250 GIIs were sold during the aircraft’s production run including two variants, one with wing-tip tanks to increase range and the other with a new wing and winglets to enhance performance.
September 29, 1967 - Gulfstream production shifts to Savannah, Georgia, facility.
Grumman moved its Gulfstream operations to Savannah, Georgia, in 1967 to split its aircraft manufacturing business into military and civilian divisions and improve efficiency. Officials cited labor supply, land availability, transportation facilities and favorable weather conditions for choosing Savannah as Gulfstream’s permanent home.
NASA Shuttle Trainers
1973 - NASA purchases two Gulfstream GIIs as space shuttle trainers. NASA began training space shuttle crews in the Gulfstream GII. Grumman modified the aircraft to simulate space shuttle flight characteristics during its landing sequence by adding in-flight thrust reversers, direct-lift flaps and side force generators to the exterior and by redesigning the left side of the cockpit to mimic the shuttle’s flight deck.
GIII First Flight/GIII Both Poles
December 2, 1979 - Gulfstream GIII makes first flight.
November 1983 - Gulfstream GIII becomes first business jet to fly over both poles.
The Gulfstream GIII™ stretched the limits of its predecessor, the Gulfstream GII. The GIII could travel 3,600 nautical miles/6,667 kilometers, and a new wing design increased the span to six feet and five-foot winglets were added. The GIII first flew on December 2, 1979 and entered service in late 1980. More than 200 GIIIs were sold between 1980 and 1987.
GIV First Flight
September 19, 1985 - Gulfstream GIV makes first flight.
The Gulfstream GIV™ revolutionized business aviation with its intercontinental range and advanced cockpit and cabin technology. Cutting-edge engines combined with a large, yet light, wing gave the GIV a 4,200-nautical-mile/7,778-kilometer range and a maximum speed of Mach 0.88. The GIV cockpit was the first in civil aviation to feature digital flight management computers, increasing fuel-efficiency while reducing pilot workload. The GIV first flew on September 19, 1985 and entered into service in August 1987. Gulfstream produced an updated version, the Gulfstream GIV-SP, beginning in 1993. The “Special Performance” GIV-SP featured increased takeoff and landing weight; upgraded landing package with structural improvements to landing gear, antilock brakes, wheels and tires; as well as the Rolls-Royce Tay 611-8 engine with 15 percent less fuel burn than the GIV model. Five-hundred GIV and GIV-SPs were produced between 1987-2003.
February 25, 1995 - Gulfstream opens first Integration Test Facility.
Gulfstream built a $3 million Integration Test Facility for the Gulfstream GV™. The ITF included a mock-up of a GV cockpit that allowed for testing of avionics and other electronic systems as well as human-factors analysis while the aircraft was in development. Gulfstream later created similar ITFs for the Gulfstream G280™, the Gulfstream G450™, the Gulfstream G550™ and the Gulfstream G650™.
GV First Flight/GV Collier Trophy
November 28, 1995 - Gulfstream GV makes first flight.
May 1997 - Gulfstream GV wins prestigious Robert J. Collier Trophy for advanced design and manufacturing techniques.
The Gulfstream GV introduced the ultralong-range jet to business aviation. The GV flew up to Mach 0.885 and at altitudes of 51,000 feet/15,545 meters and covered 6,500 nautical miles/12,038 kilometers. Gulfstream debuted its head-up display in the GV’s cockpit and wired the cabin as a complete computerized office. The GV typically accommodated four crew members and 14 passengers in an executive configuration. The GV first flew on November 28, 1995 and entered into service in July 1, 1997. More than 190 GVs were delivered.
General Dynamics Purchase
July 30, 1999 - General Dynamics acquires Gulfstream Aerospace.
Defense giant General Dynamics purchased Gulfstream Aerospace for US$5.3 billion in 1999. The corporation previously owned another aircraft manufacturer and had also produced F-16 fighters for the U.S. military. General Dynamics made research and development a priority.
May 1, 2001 - Gulfstream acquires Galaxy Aerospace and rebrands Galaxy’s midsize aircraft as G100 and G200.
Gulfstream added super-midsize aircraft to its fleet by purchasing Galaxy Aerospace. Gulfstream upgraded Galaxy’s two midsize business aircraft, the Galaxy and Astra SPX, and rebranded them the Gulfstream G200 and Gulfstream G100, respectively. The jets featured cross-continental range and offered wide-cabin comfort.
APS Service Program/FAST Program
May 7, 2002 - Gulfstream launches Airborne Product Support service program.
May 16, 2011 - Gulfstream introduces Gulfstream FAST™, Field and Airborne Support Teams.
The Airborne Product Support program set a new standard for aviation customer service. Gulfstream converted a Gulfstream G100 into a parts-and-repair aircraft to transport service technicians to repair aircraft under warranty anywhere in North America or the Caribbean. Gulfstream added mobile service worldwide in 2011 with the introduction of the Field and Airborne Support Teams, or Gulfstream FAST™. FAST technicians provide service via aircraft, train, automobile or van.
G550 First Flight
July 18, 2002 - Gulfstream G550 makes first flight.
2003 - Gulfstream G550 is awarded the prestigious Robert J. Collier Trophy for achievement in designing, testing and building an innovative aircraft while incorporating measurable safety enhancements and far-reaching advances in aerospace technology
The Gulfstream G550 revolutionized the pilot experience in business aviation. The aircraft featured the new Gulfstream PlaneView™ cockpit. PlaneView integrated several avionics features, including an infrared camera that revealed terrain and runway lights in low-visibility conditions, known as an Enhanced Vision System (later known as Enhanced Flight Vision System). The G550 was so technologically advanced, the aircraft won the 2003 Robert J. Collier Trophy, the U.S. National Aeronautic Association’s most prestigious award for technological achievement. The G550 also stretched the reach of ultralong-range business travel, linking cities around the world, such as Seoul and Orlando, Florida; Washington, D.C., and Dubai; and Tokyo and Paris. The G550 accommodates up to 19 passengers. The G550 first flew on July 18, 2002 and entered into service in 2003.
G450 First Flight/G450 Biofuels
April 30, 2003 - Gulfstream G450 makes first flight.
June 22, 2011 - Gulfstream G450 becomes first business jet to cross Atlantic Ocean using biofuels.
The Gulfstream G450 incorporated the Gulfstream G550’s technological advances into the popular Gulfstream GIV airframe. Gulfstream integrated the PlaneView™ cockpit into the aircraft and redesigned the wing to reduce drag and allow for greater fuel capacity. The G450 seats up to 19 passengers. The G450 first flew on April 30, 2003 and entered service on May 2005. Production of the G450 ended in January 2018.
G150 First Flight
May 3, 2005 - Gulfstream G150 makes first flight.
The Gulfstream G150™ redefined comfort and efficiency in midsize jets. The eight-passenger aircraft boasts a wide cabin, exceptional speed and fuel efficiency, and cross-country range. The G150 covers 3,000 nautical miles/5,556 kilometers at Mach 0.75 with a top speed of Mach 0.85. The aircraft first flew on May 3, 2005 and entered service in August 2006. The G150 was the first business aircraft to be certified by the FAA for Stage 4 for noise standards. Production of the G150 ended in 2017.
May 19, 2006 - Gulfstream opens Savannah Research and Development Center.
Gulfstream Aerospace expanded its Savannah, Georgia, headquarters to include a Research and Development Center. The project was part of a US$300 million expansion plan. The RDC houses personnel from Engineering, Manufacturing, Planning, Product Support and Materials.
October 23, 2006 - Gulfstream’s Quiet Spike goes supersonic.
The revolutionary Quiet Spike™ highlighted Gulfstream’s ongoing research into supersonic flight. The telescoping device fits on an aircraft’s nose and spreads the sonic boom shockwaves over the length of the 24-foot-long spike and the airframe surface to minimize the effects of breaking the sound barrier. NASA first flight-tested the Quiet Spike in 2006 as a proof of concept mounted on a modified F-15 fighter.
January 28, 2008 - Gulfstream debuts Synthetic Vision-Primary Flight Display system.
The Synthetic Vision-Primary Flight Display system enhances safety by providing pilots an artificial view of the environment ahead. The SV-PFD takes data from ground proximity warning systems to produce three-dimensional, color images of terrain, obstacles, runways and approaches. Gulfstream announced plans for the SV-PFD in 2006 and introduced the system in 2008.
G650 First Flight/G650 Enters Service
November 25, 2009 - Gulfstream G650 makes first flight.
December 2012 - Gulfstream G650 enters service as the world’s fastest business jet.
2015 - Gulfstream G650 is awarded the prestigious 2014 Robert J. Collier trophy for significant technological achievements in aircraft performance, cabin comfort and safety.
The Gulfstream G650 debuted as the most advanced aircraft in business aviation. The aircraft can fly 7,000 nautical miles/12,964 kilometers and has a maximum cruise altitude of 51,000-feet/15,545-meters with a Mach 0.85 long-range cruise speed. The G650 has a maximum operating speed of Mach 0.925. The G650’s cabin volume is 2,138 cubic feet/60.54 cubic meters and is accented by 16 Gulfstream panoramic oval windows. The aircraft accommodates up to 19 passengers in as many as four living areas. The G650 first flew on November 25, 2009 and entered service in December 2012 as the world’s fastest civilian aircraft.
G280 First Flight/G280 Enters Service
December 11, 2009 - Gulfstream G280™ makes first flight.
The Gulfstream G280 reset the standard for the super-midsize aircraft class. The G280 boasts intercontinental range and a long-range cruise speed of Mach 0.80 as well as remarkable fuel-efficiency. Cabin amenities include a cabin management tool and an in-flight accessible baggage compartment. Gulfstream incorporated the PlaneView280™ cockpit and also equipped the aircraft with autobrake and autothrottle systems. The G280 seats up to 10 passengers. The G280 first flew on December 11, 2009, and entered service on November 14, 2012.
G650 Sets World Record
July 3, 2013 - Gulfstream G650 sets world record for westbound, around-the-world flight in 41 hours, 7 minutes.
The Gulfstream G650 set the world speed record for a westbound circumnavigation at 41 hours, 7 minutes and also claimed 22 city-pair speed records en route. The 20,310-nautical-mile flight started and finished in San Diego, California, with stops in Guam, Dubai and Cape Verde. The G650 flew each leg at Mach 0.90, the aircraft’s standard high-speed cruise.
May 19, 2014 - Gulfstream introduces G650ER™.
The Gulfstream G650ER extends the reach of nonstop business travel to 7,500 nautical miles/13,890 kilometers. The aircraft flew key city-pair connections, such as Hong Kong to Teterboro, New Jersey, and Los Angeles to Melbourne, Australia, prior to its unveiling.
All-New G500 And G600 Announced
October 14, 2014 - Gulfstream introduces new aircraft family.
The all-new Gulfstream G500™ and Gulfstream G600™ establish new class-leading benchmarks for optimized performance, cabin design and technology. The aircraft fly long distances at high speeds and provide the comfort of wide, stylish cabins. Gulfstream advanced the state-of-the-art in the G500 and G600 by introducing the Gulfstream Symmetry Flight Deck™ with touch-screen displays, active control sidesticks and Intelligence-by-Wire™ flight controls.
G650ER Enters Service
November 14, 2014 - Deliveries of new Gulfstream flagship begin.
The Gulfstream G650ER™ extends the reach of nonstop business travel to 7,500 nautical miles/13,890 kilometers. Gulfstream’s flagship aircraft flew key city-pair connections, such as Hong Kong to Teterboro, New Jersey, and Los Angeles to Melbourne, Australia, prior to its unveiling. The G650ER has a maximum operating speed of Mach 0.925 and the aircraft’s cabin accommodates up to 19 passengers in as many as four distinct living areas.
G650ER: Around the world in one stop
February 18, 2015 – Gulfstream G650ER circumnavigates the globe in one stop.
The G650ER set two city-pair records en route to its circumnavigation feat. The aircraft took off from White Plains, New York, with three passengers and four crew members on board, then flew 6,939 nautical miles/12,851 kilometers eastbound to Beijing at an average speed of Mach 0.87. The total flight time for those two flights was 13 hours and 20 minutes. The aircraft then flew eastbound 6,572 nm/12,171 km to Savannah, accomplishing the mission at an average speed of Mach 0.89 for a total flight time of 12 hours.
G500 First Flight
May 18, 2015 - Gulfstream G500 makes first flight.
The Gulfstream G500 ushered in a new era in cockpit technology with the Gulfstream Symmetry Flight Deck™ and features a clean-sheet design optimized for class-leading performance and passenger comfort. The aircraft offers a maximum range of 5,200 nautical miles/9,630 kilometers and cruises at up to Mach 0.90 with a maximum operating speed of Mach 0.925. The G500 accommodates up to 19 passengers in three distinct living areas and features the revolutionary Symmetry Flight Deck™, with the industry’s first active control sidesticks and touch-screen avionics controllers. The aircraft entered into service in September 2018.
G600 First Flight
December 17, 2016 - Gulfstream G600 makes first flight.
The Gulfstream G600™ set a new standard for innovation, cabin style and comfort. The aircraft offers a maximum range of 6,500 nautical miles/12,038 kilometers and cruises at up to Mach 0.90 with a maximum operating speed of Mach 0.925. The G600 features the revolutionary Gulfstream Symmetry Flight Deck™ and accommodates up to 19 passengers in up to four distinct living areas, allowing the flexibility to include a stateroom or media suite.
G500 Completes High-Speed World Tour
July 15, 2018 – Gulfstream G500 completes high-speed world tour.
The G500 completed its world tour after flying nearly 130,000 nautical miles/240,760 kilometers, stopping at 44 cities and visiting 18 countries on six continents in just seven months. The tour, which included a stretch of flying to 20 cities in 18 days, demonstrated the G500’s tremendous reliability and maturity while showcasing its exquisite interior and streamlined flight deck to customers around the world. During the tour, the G500 set 22 city-pair speed records, including flying from West Palm Beach, Florida, to Seville, Spain, in 7 hours and 4 minutes at Mach 0.90 and Geneva to Chicago in 8 hours and 1 minute at the same speed.
G500 Earns Type and Production Certificates In Same Day
July 20, 2018 -- Gulfstream G500 earns both type and production certificates from U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.
The G500 earned both its type certification and production certificates from the FAA in the same day, paving the way for customer deliveries. The G500 is the first clean-sheet Gulfstream aircraft to receive its type and production certificates on the same day. During the certification program, Gulfstream demonstrated even better performance for the G500, including a takeoff distance of just 5,200 feet/1,585 meters, 200 ft/61 m less than originally projected.
G500 Deliveries Begin On Time
Sept. 27, 2018 – Gulfstream delivers first new-generation G500 on time.
Gulfstream officially marked the arrival of a new generation of Gulfstream innovation and design with the first G500 delivery to a North American customer in Savannah, just shy of four years after the aircraft was announced.
G650ER’s record-setting flight
March 29, 2019 – Gulfstream G650ER shatters speed record for farthest business jet flight in history.
The G650ER flew from Singapore to Tucson, Ariz., at an average speed of 597 miles per hour/960 kilometers per hour over a distance of 8,379 nautical miles/15,518 kilometers. The G650ER’s performance beat the previous record by 44 minutes and more than 225 nm/417 km, asserting the aircraft’s title for flying farther faster than any other jet.
G65O family gets steep approach nod
May 20, 2019 – Gulfstream G650 family now FAA-certified for steep approach.
The certification allows the ultralong-range G650ER and G650 to access even more airports worldwide, including London City, which requires the certification due to its short runway and stringent noise-abatement requirements. The certification also opens access to Lugano and similar airports located in the mountainous region of Switzerland.
June 28, 2019 - Gulfstream G600 earns FAA certification.
The aircraft received both its type and production certificates on the same day from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. The certifications cleared the way for the first completed G600 deliveries to customers as scheduled this year.
First G600 Delivery
August 8, 2019 – Gulfstream delivers first G600.
This milestone came approximately one month after the G600 earned its U.S. Federal Aviation Administration type and production certificates. A U.S. customer took delivery of the aircraft at Gulfstream’s Savannah headquarters.
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