Gulfstream G650

The Gulfstream G650 is a twin-engine business jet airplane produced by Gulfstream Aerospace.[4] The model is designated Gulfstream GVI in its type certificate,[5] and may be configured to carry from 11 to 18 passengers. Gulfstream began the G650 program in 2005 and revealed it to the public in 2008. The G650 is the company's largest and fastest business jet with a top speed of Mach 0.925.

Gulfstream Aerospace G650 with landing gear down
Role Business jet
National origin United States
Manufacturer Gulfstream Aerospace
First flight November 25, 2009
Status In production
Produced 2008–present
Number built 400 as of December 2019[1]
Unit cost
G650: US$69.5 million
G650ER: US$71.5 million[2]
G700: US$75 million[3]

The aircraft project was named the 2014 winner of the Collier Trophy, for having "strengthened business aviation through significant technological advancements in aircraft performance, cabin comfort, and safety."[6] The G650ER is an extended-range version of the G650.[7] The 300th was delivered in April 2018, just over five years since introduction in December 2012.[8] The 400th was delivered in December 2019, seven years after the type's introduction.[1]


The Gulfstream G650 was formally launched as an internal company project in May 2005, and publicly unveiled on March 13, 2008. At the public announcement occasion, company executives stated the new model would become Gulfstream's largest, fastest and most expensive business jet on entry to the market.[9]

The wing design was completed in 2006. A total of 1,400 hours of wind tunnel testing was completed by 2008. A pressure-test fuselage was built and tested, including an ultimate-pressure test of 18.37 psi (1,267 hPa).[10]

The G650 taxied under its own power for the first time on September 26, 2009.[11] A public rollout ceremony was later held on September 29, 2009.[12] The G650 had its maiden flight on November 25, 2009.[13]

Flight testing for the maximum operating speed of Mach 0.925 was announced as completed on May 4, 2010.[14] Gulfstream reported on August 26, 2010 that the G650 hit a maximum speed of Mach 0.995 during a dive as part of its 1,800-hour flight test program.[15] In April 2011, a G650 crashed shortly after lift off. The cause was determined to be related to the speeds carried out for the single engine take off run. The G650 test aircraft were grounded until May 28, 2011, when the remaining test aircraft were allowed to return to flight testing.[16]

On September 7, 2012, the G650 received its type certificate from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).[17][18] Its first delivery was to an American customer named Preston Henn[19] on December 27, 2012.[20]

The G650 had a nominal list price of $64.5 million in 2013,[21] but there was a three-year waiting list. Some aircraft produced for delivery in 2013 sold for more than $70 million to buyers that wanted to take immediate delivery.[22] After rising to $71-73 million in 2014, initial enthusiasm dissipated and the value of pre-owned G650s stabilized at $50 million after the competing Bombardier Global 7500 was certified in 2018.[23]

On May 18, 2014, Gulfstream announced at the annual European Business Aviation Association exhibition, that it had developed an extended range version called the G650ER. The G650ER is capable of flying 7,500 nautical miles (13,900 km; 8,600 mi) at Mach 0.85, due to its 4,000 pounds (1,814 kg) increase in fuel capacity. Gulfstream stated that in March a G650ER development aircraft had flown non-stop from Hong Kong to Teterboro, New Jersey in the United States, a distance of 7,494 nautical miles (13,879 km; 8,624 mi); it had also flown non-stop from Los Angeles to Melbourne in Australia. The extra fuel is housed in existing space inside the G650's wings and aircraft already built may be quickly upgraded to the ER version.[24] The G650ER received its certification in October 2014 and began deliveries in late 2014 ahead of its 2015 target.[25][26] The G650ER attempted two world records from New York to Beijing to Savannah in February 2015.[27] The same year, a G650ER set a new record for the longest non-stop flight by a purpose-built business jet, flying 8,010 nautical miles (14,835 km; 9,218 mi) from Singapore to Las Vegas with four passengers and crew. The record was surpassed by a Bombardier Global 7500 in March 2019,[28] before the G650ER retook the record in April 2019 by flying 8,379 nmi (15,518 km) from Singapore to Tucson.[29]

Also in May 2014, Gulfstream confirmed that the G650 would be offered to the United States Air Force for its program to replace the E-8C JSTARS air-to-ground surveillance and targeting aircraft. The still emerging requirements call for an aircraft with a 10-13 man crew and a belly-mounted radar 3.9–6 m (13–20 ft) long.[30] However, during the fiscal 2019 budget rollout briefing it was announced that the Air Force will not move forward with an E-8C replacement aircraft. Funding for the JSTARS recapitalization program will instead be diverted to pay for development of an advanced battle management system.[31][32]

In September 2018, Gulfstream was conducting testing at London City Airport to certify the aircraft to perform steep approaches.[33]


On the eve of the October 2019 NBAA Convention & Exhibition in Las Vegas, Gulfstream announced its new flagship, the G700, showing a video of the aircraft taxiing under its own power in Savannah. It should fly 7,500 nmi/13,890 km at Mach 0.85 or 6,400 nmi/11,853 km at Mach 0.90. Its longer cabin can accommodate up to five areas and has 20 windows. It is powered by Rolls-Royce Pearl 700 engines and has new winglets. Customer deliveries should start in 2022.[34] The $75 million jet is a 10 ft (3.0 m) stretch of the G650, and should make its first flight in the first half of 2020.[3]

The G700 should share its fly-by-wire cockpit with the G500/G600: active control sidesticks and Honeywell Primus Epic flight deck with synthetic and enhanced vision systems for a common type rating. The jet is 110 ft (33.5 m) long, about 3 m longer than the G650ER and about 0.98 ft (0.3 m) shorter than the competing Bombardier Global 7500. Its main cabin is 57 ft (17.4 m) long, 6.2 ft (1.9 m) high and 8.2 ft (2.5 m) wide; 0.8m longer, 0.1 m wider and a fraction taller than the 7500's cabin. It should carrying 19 seated passengers or sleep 10. It will have a MTOW of 107,600 lb (48,800 kg) and the 18,250 lbf (81.2 kN) turbofans should burn 2-3% less fuel than the G650's R-R BR725s. The aircraft should take off from a 1,905 m runway at MTOW and land in 762 m at a typical landing weight.[35]

It has the same 1,283 sq ft (119.2 m2) wing with its 33° wingsweep but the more outboard canted winglets are 3.4 ft (1.0 m) wider. The basic operating weight increases from 54,500 to 56,000 lb (24,700 to 25,400 kg) and the wet wing fuel capacity increase slightly by 1,200 lb (540 kg). The Pearl 700 turbofan is an improved version of the BR725, with one more low-pressure turbine stage, an overall pressure ratio over 50:1, and a bypass ratio higher than 6.5:1 for a 3-5% better thrust specific fuel consumption. After flight tests, it should best its competitor's 7,700 nmi (14,300 km) range and reach up to 7,800–8,000 nmi (14,400–14,800 km).[36]


The G650 has a cruise speed of Mach 0.85 to 0.90, with maximum speed of Mach 0.925 and a range of up to 7,000 nmi (13,000 km). It can be equipped with a full kitchen and bar and may be equipped with a variety of entertainment features including satellite telephones and wireless Internet. The jet uses two Rolls-Royce BR725 engines, each producing a maximum thrust of 17,000 pounds-force (75.6 kN).[37] Gulfstream states that with a weight of less than 100,000 pounds (45,400 kg), it is able to land at small airports avoiding the busy airports around the world.

To provide better usage of the internal volume, Gulfstream designers rejected the usual circular fuselage cross-section in favor of an oval which uses a flatter lower portion.[38] The cabin is 8 feet 6 inches (2.59 m) wide and 6 feet 5 inches (1.96 m) high,[39] allowing the craft to be configured to carry between 11 and 18 passengers. The fuselage is of metal construction; composite materials are used for empennage, winglets, rear pressure bulkhead, engine cowlings, cabin floor structure and many fairings. The elliptical cabin windows,[40] eight on each side of the fuselage, are 28 inches (71 cm) wide. Panels are bonded rather than riveted, reducing parts count compared to the G550.[41]

The wing uses greater sweep (36 degrees) than previous Gulfstream aircraft (for example, the G550 wing has 27 degrees of sweep). It does not use leading-edge high-lift devices, and tracks for rear-mounted flaps are completely enclosed within the airfoil contour. The wing's leading edge is a continuously-changing curve, and the airfoil varies continuously from root to tip, which incorporates winglets.

The aircraft controls are completely fly-by-wire, with no mechanical control between pilot and flight surfaces. The surfaces are moved by dual hydraulic systems. The G650 shares its yokes and column with the G550 in an effort to receive a common type rating.[42] While most newer airliners now employ fly-by-wire technology, the G650 was only the second fly-by-wire business jet, after the Dassault Falcon 7X and before the Embraer Legacy 500.[43]

At FL 470 and ISA-7°C, it cruises at Mach 0.85 or 480 kn (890 km/h) TAS and burns 2,400 lb (1,100 kg) per hour at a weight of 67,500 lb (30,600 kg), raising to 3,000 lb (1,400 kg) per h at Mach 0.90 or 506 kn (937 km/h) TAS.[44]


Initial production version
Extended Range version, with maximum takeoff weight increased by 4,000 pounds (1,814 kg) and an equivalent increase in fuel capacity; capable of flying 7,500 nautical miles (8,600 mi; 13,900 km) at Mach 0.85.[45] Certified in October 2014.[46] Fuel capacity of the wet wings is increased by a modification to the fuel system, through a service bulletin; the modification is available as a $2 million retrofit for existing G650 aircraft. The list price for new a G650ER aircraft was $66.5 million in 2014.[47]
Announced at the October 2019 NBAA convention: stretched by 10 ft 1 in (3.07 m) for a longer cabin with five areas and ten windows per side, up from eight, 2-3% more efficient 18,250 lbf / 81.2 kN Rolls-Royce Pearl 700 turbofans, 4,000 lb (1815 kg) heavier MTOW for the same 7,500 nmi (13,900 km) range. Deliveries should start in 2022.

Incidents and accidents

On April 2, 2011, the second G650 test aircraft crashed during takeoff from the Roswell International Air Center, New Mexico, killing the four Gulfstream employees on board (two pilots and two test engineers). The aircraft was conducting a takeoff-performance test during which an engine failure was simulated by reducing the right engine's thrust to idle.[48] The G650 became airborne briefly at a high angle of attack before its right wingtip hit the runway, then slid on the ground, struck a concrete berm, and caught fire.[49]

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined the probable cause of the crash was an aerodynamic stall of the aircraft, due to a failure to properly develop and validate takeoff speeds involving persistent and increasingly aggressive attempts to achieve a V2 speed that was too low. It found that Gulfstream's investigation of the two previous uncommanded roll events was inadequate. Following the crash, Gulfstream raised the V2 speed of the G650 from 135 knots (250 km/h) to 150 knots (280 km/h).[48] The NTSB accused Gulfstream of withholding information, which the company denied. The NTSB also objected to Gulfstream's use of legal counsel during the investigation.[50]


Variant G650[39] G650ER[51] G700[52]
Pilots 2
Passengers up to 19
Max Payload 6,500 lb / 2,948 kg 6,385 lb / 2,896 kg
Length 99 ft 9 in / 30.41 m 109 ft 10 in / 33.48 m
Span 99 ft 7 in / 30.36 m 103 ft / 31.39 m
Height 25 ft 4 in / 7.72 m 25 ft 5 in / 7.75 m
Wing 1,283 sq ft (119.2 m2), 33° 1/4 chord sweep,[53] 7.73 AR
BOW (4 crew) 54,000 lb / 24,494 kg 56,365 lb / 25,567 kg
Max takeoff 99,600 lb / 45,178 kg 103,600 lb / 46,992 kg 107,600 lb / 48,807 kg
Fuel capacity 44,200 lb / 20,049 kg 48,200 lb / 21,863 kg 49,400 lb / 22,407 kg
Cabin Length ×
Height × Width
46ft 10in × 6ft 3in × 8ft 2in
14.27 × 1.91 × 2.49 m
56ft 11in × 6ft 3in × 8ft 2in
17.35 × 1.91 × 2.49 m
Cabin volume 2,138 cu ft / 60.54 m³ 2,603 cu ft / 73.71 m³
2× turbofans Rolls-Royce BR725 A1-12 Rolls-Royce Pearl 700
Thrust 16,900 lbf / 75.2 kN 18,250 lbf / 81.2 kN
High speed cruise Mach 0.90, 516 kn / 956 km/h (Mach 0.925 MMo)
Long range cruise Mach 0.85, 488 kn / 904 km/h
Range[lower-alpha 1] 7,000 nmi / 12,964 km 7,500 nmi / 13,890 km
Ceiling 51,000 ft / 15,545 m
Takeoff 5,858 ft / 1,786 m 6,299 ft / 1,920 m 6,250 ft / 1,905 m
Wing loading 77.6 lb/sq ft (379 kg/m2) 80.7 lb/sq ft (394 kg/m2)
  1. Mach 0.85, 8 pax, 4 crew, NBAA IFR reserves

See also

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era


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