The fourth Gulfstream G500 test aircraft, T4, has completed its first flight and officially joined the G500 flight test program.
T4 will be used to test avionics, flammable fluid drainage, water ingestion and select systems (water/waste, lighting, fire protection). It will also perform flight standardization and operations evaluations. T1 is focused on envelope expansion; T2 on flight loads validation, aircraft performance and systems testing; and T3 on the new Symmetry Flight Deck. The fifth aircraft, P1, has been delivered to the Savannah Completions Center, where it will become a fully outfitted production aircraft that will be used to test the interior elements as well as the integration of aircraft systems with the passenger experience. The company is targeting FAA type certification for the G500 in 2017.
In other news, the Gulfstream G600 iron bird recently completed its first simulated flight. A spatially correct, dimensionally accurate structure that includes a flight deck, the iron bird allows engineers to test the flight control and mechanical systems, including landing gear, brakes and hydraulics, in a ground-based lab.
“This first flight sets in motion the testing and validation required for the G600’s actual first flight,” said Dan Nale, senior vice president for programs, engineering and test at Gulfstream. “With the iron bird, we can confirm the characteristics of the system components, improve the integration maturity, make modifications and provide those benefits in a lab environment, all while on the ground and still in the design stage to the benefit of the flight test aircraft. Having this resource enhances safety and streamlines the testing process.”
The first G600 flight test aircraft and structural test article are in production. The G600 is scheduled to enter service in 2019.
February 25, 2016