GULFSTREAM G550™ RECEIVES FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION AIRCRAFT TYPE CERTIFICATE
GULFSTREAM G550™ RECEIVES FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION AIRCRAFT TYPE CERTIFICATE
First G550 Customer Delivery Scheduled for Third Quarter
SAVANNAH, Ga., Aug. 14, 2003 -- Gulfstream Aerospace, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), today received Type Certificate approval for its large-cabin, ultra-long-range Gulfstream G550™ from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
This certification authenticates the airworthiness of the design model and is one of the last steps required before the first aircraft of a new model series can be delivered to a customer. The first G550 customer, a large international corporation, will take delivery of its G550 in September. Before the end of this year, Gulfstream expects the Joint Aviation Authorities to validate the G550 certification by the FAA.
"With the G550's extraordinary performance, state-of-the-art technology, unsurpassed comfort, and built-in reliability, we expect this aircraft will follow the same path as its predecessors, becoming the best-selling business jet in its class," said Bryan Moss, president, Gulfstream. "We are confident the G550 will become the standard by which international business travelers compare all other ultra-long-range jets."
"This certification is the culmination of four years of intense collaboration among ourselves, Honeywell, Rolls-Royce, Vought, Fokker and other business partners," said Pres Henne, senior vice president, programs, engineering and test, Gulfstream. "The most technologically advanced business jet available in corporate aviation today, the G550 is the product of our collective efforts, steadfast tenacity and mutual respect."
The G550 program began in 1999 as an advanced cockpit project and evolved into a total aircraft upgrade. In 2001, Gulfstream's development team created a GV-SP, or "GV-Special Performance," prototype by modifying an existing Gulfstream V® aircraft. On Aug. 31, 2001, the GV-SP test aircraft, called "T1," completed its first flight, with pilots and engineers onboard testing its basic systems and its new flight deck system called PlaneView™.
Three months later, in November 2001, the production team began the process of transitioning the GV production line to a GV-SP production line and, in June 2002, the first production GV-SP was unveiled. One month later in July, the first production GV-SP flew for 5 hours, 1 minute on its maiden flight - the longest first flight of a new type aircraft in Gulfstream history.
At the National Business Aviation Association's Annual Meeting and Convention held in September 2002, Gulfstream unveiled a new, seven aircraft product line that included the renaming of the GV-SP to the Gulfstream G550. In December 2002, the FAA granted the G550 its Provisional Type Certificate, marking the first certification of PlaneView flight deck components.
The PlaneView Cockpit
The most advanced flight deck in commercial aviation, PlaneView is the product of years of experience in developing cutting edge technology for improved pilot situational awareness and safety.
An integrated avionics suite featuring four large 14-inch liquid crystal displays in landscape format, PlaneView is the first cockpit to incorporate this type of display. The unique implementation of Honeywell's Primus Epic® architecture and display system provides substantially more display area than previous six-display designs while reducing the overall volume and weight of the equipment. The PlaneView flight deck, which incorporates elegant human interface design, is a clean, flexible and concise system of flight, navigation and system displays. The pilot's scan of the expansive display area finds flight and navigation data in logical and familiar locations, resulting in high situational awareness and low workload.
Flight Management System (FMS)
The integrated navigation map displays the flight plan along with terrain, airways, airports, navigational aids and radar data. PlaneView includes the first fully synchronous triple Flight Management System. Using the Gulfstream Signature Cursor Control Device (CCD), another first of its kind, pilots can integrate the FMS and the display map, producing true graphical flight planning. Hearing a change in clearance from Air Traffic Control, the pilot can visualize and incorporate that change by inputting directly within the map. The CCD also provides the natural interface for display selection, configuration, checklist and other functions.
For pilots who prefer direct interface with flight controls, the traditional dedicated controls have not been eliminated. By retaining the familiar operations, the FAA awarded this highly advanced and flexible flight deck the same type rating as the G550's predecessor, the GV. This shared type rating provides existing GV operators substantial benefits in reduced training costs and fleet operation flexibility when they advance to the G550 PlaneView configuration.
Visual Guidance System (VGS)
In addition to impressive head-down displays, PlaneView incorporates the latest in Head-Up Display (HUD) technology with the next generation Visual Guidance System. The information and guidance cues provided by the VGS allow the pilot to easily control the aircraft without having to look down at the instrument panel. Not just an additional primary flight display, VGS displays images from the Gulfstream Enhanced Vision System (EVS), the first of its kind to receive FAA certification and standard equipment on the G550.
The advanced infrared imaging technology of EVS is specially tuned to the frequency of runway lights for approach, but also provides rendering of the surrounding environment. With EVS, pilots have a clear picture of runway markings, taxiways and the landscape in poor weather and at night for greater situational awareness and prevention of Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT). The Gulfstream EVS has been recognized with multiple aviation industry awards for its dramatic safety advancement.
Enhanced Cabin Environment
With the PlaneView flight deck came smaller avionics components that took up less space in the forward cabin. With an additional 20 percent more cabin room, a fourth distinct living area with berthing was added as well as two additional Gulfstream signature oval windows. The roomy and well lit cabin, along with the 100 percent fresh air system and maximum cabin altitude of 6,000 feet, provide travelers an ideal working and living environment for long intercontinental flights.
Powered by two advanced Rolls-Royce BR710 engines, each producing more than 15,000 pounds of thrust, the G550 can fly eight passengers and four crewmembers 6,750 nautical miles - the longest range available in a business jet. This range is a 250-nautical-mile increase over the GV and was accomplished with advanced aerodynamic improvements. The G550 will fly non-stop from New York to Tokyo in 14 1/2 hours at altitudes up to 51,000 feet, high above commercial air traffic, weather and adverse winds and permitting even more direct air traffic routing.
In addition to technology, performance and comfort, the G550 customers receive as standard features the comprehensive industry-exclusive Gulfstream 5-year Maintenance and Training Package and a competitive warranty program. Gulfstream G550 owners also have multiple cabin layouts and several customer-preferred option packages from which to choose. The standard equipment and option packages combined with the proven reliability, safety, comfort and performance offer an exceptional combination of features that serve to enhance the customer's ability to tailor the aircraft to meet their individual mission needs. For those who require an even more distinctive interior, customization packages are available on the G550.
In addition to the G550, Gulfstream expects to receive FAA type certification of its ultra-long-range G500 in the fourth quarter later this year.
NOTE TO EDITORS
Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), designs, develops, manufactures, markets, services and supports the world's most technologically advanced business jet aircraft. Gulfstream has produced more than 1,300 aircraft for customers around the world since 1958. To meet the diverse transportation needs of the future, Gulfstream offers a comprehensive fleet of aircraft, comprising the mid-cabin, high-speed Gulfstream G100™; the wide-cabin, high-speed Gulfstream G150™; the large-cabin, mid-range Gulfstream G200™; the large-cabin, mid-range Gulfstream G300™; the large-cabin, long-range Gulfstream G400™; the large-cabin, ultra-long-range Gulfstream G500™ and the large-cabin, ultra-long-range Gulfstream G550™. Gulfstream also offers aircraft ownership services via Gulfstream Financial Services Division and Gulfstream Pre-Owned Aircraft Sales®. The company employs more than 7,400 people at seven major locations. We invite you to visit our Web site for more information and photos of Gulfstream aircraft at www.gulfstream.com.
General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, employs approximately 64,600 people worldwide and estimates 2003 revenues of $15.5 billion. The company has leading market positions in mission-critical information systems and technologies, land and amphibious combat systems, shipbuilding and marine systems, and business aviation. More information about the company can be found on the World Wide Web at www.generaldynamics.com.