The Gulfstream G500 and G600 have demonstrated steep-approach landings into London City Airport in the UK, and Lugano Airport and Sion Airport in Switzerland.
The milestone demonstrations of low-speed handling and short-field landing capability were celebrated with a new city-pair record run.
Following official FAA and EASA steep-approach certification, anticipated in 2022, the G500 and G600 will gain access to challenging airports such as London City, which requires the certification due to its short runway and stringent noise-abatement requirements, as well as Lugano and similar airports located in the mountainous region of Switzerland. Lugano’s short runway, situated in the mouth of a valley, requires an extremely steep approach.
“The take-off and landing performance we demonstrated in Europe was key in the process of securing customers’ access to even more locations worldwide, saving them even more valuable hours per year,” said Mark Burns, president, Gulfstream. “Our customers already benefit from Gulfstream’s high-speed performance advantage when flying, and the investment we’ve made in flight testing and continuous improvement delivers even more value with increased flexibility.”
Following the landing demonstrations, the G500 and G600 each claimed city-pair speed records, departing London City Airport at average cruise speeds of Mach 0.90 and above. The G500 flew 3,077 nautical miles (5,699km) to Teterboro Airport near New York in six hours and 46 minutes, besting the previous record by 12 minutes despite challenging headwinds. The G600 set its own speed record from London to Seattle, completing its 4,235 nautical mile (7,843km) flight in eight hours and 39 minutes.
Both flights landed with fuel reserves exceeding NBAA minimums under Instrument Flight Rules. The flights are pending approval by the US National Aeronautic Association and Fédération Aéronautique Internationale in Switzerland for recognition as world records. To date, the G500 and G600 hold more than 60 city-pair speed records combined.
In addition, the G600 has officially received FAA and EASA certification of improved take-off performance operations on grooved runways in wet conditions; G500 certification is tracking for early 2022. This improved aircraft performance provides customers with increased flexibility and range options when operating in wet runway conditions.