The final aircraft in the Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation G600 flight test program has taken its maiden flight, Gulfstream said. It is the fifth aircraft in the program, which began December 2016.
This aircraft serves as a cabin test bed, outfitted with a complete interior. It took off from Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport and flew for 2 hours 55 minutes. It landed back in Savannah, but not before reaching an elevation of 51,000 feet at a speed of Mach 0.85.
"We now have 10 aircraft flying in our concurrent Gulfstream G500 and G600 flight-test programs," said Mark Burns, president of Gulfstream. "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."
The five aircraft in the G600 program have accumulated more than 180 flights and 790 flight hours, the company said. FAA type certification for the new G600 is expected next year.