Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. has announced that the final aircraft in the Gulfstream G600 flight-test program has flown for the first time on August 29. Outfitted with a complete interior, the aircraft serves as a cabin testbed to ensure a superior customer experience. The aircraft is the fifth to join the G600 flight-test program since it began on Dec. 17, 2016. The G600 took off from Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport at 3:07 p.m. During the 2-hour and 55-minute flight, the aircraft reached an elevation of 51,000 feet/15,545 meters and a speed of Mach 0.85. The aircraft landed back in Savannah at 6:02 p.m. local time. “The goal of including a production aircraft in our flight-test program is to ensure we deliver the most functional, comfortable and reliable cabin environment for our customers,” said Mark Burns, president, Gulfstream. “Our extensive testing will validate design and performance, so we can provide a cabin that exceeds expectations.”Gulfstream will conduct repeated operations of all cabin systems to evaluate comfort, layout, noise, ergonomics, functionality, passenger interaction and appliance reliability. To date, the G600 program’s five test aircraft have accumulated more than 180 flights and 790 flight hours. “We now have 10 aircraft flying in our concurrent Gulfstream G500 and G600 flight-test programs,” Burns said. “That’s a remarkable achievement for business aviation and a first for the company. It reflects the priority we place on adhering to a long-term strategy, investing in research and development, leveraging our ground-based labs and ensuring consistent and steady progress in aircraft development.” Gulfstream anticipates receiving Federal Aviation Administration type certification for the all-new G600 in 2018. Customer deliveries are scheduled for later that year.
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