The Gulfstream G600 successfully completed its first test flight on 17th December from Savannah in Georgia, USA. Two other test aircraft are to follow suit in early 2017, as part of the business jet's flight-test campaign.
Rare enough to be worthy of mention, the American aircraft manufacturer's G600 programme is ahead of schedule. Entry into service was brought forward to 2018 from 2019. The same goes for its kid brother, the Gulfstream G500, which made its maiden flight 18 months ago. Its first delivery is now set for the end of 2017. The two aircraft are similar in many respects, but the G500's cabin is over a metre less long and its flight range is 2,200 km shorter than the G600.
Gulfstream's G600's long range of over 11,400 km means it will compete with Dassault Aviation's Falcon 8X, which has a range of nearly 12,000 km. Gulfstream's new long-haul, twin-engined jet is equipped with state-of-the-art avionics with some ten touch screens in the cockpit, (as well as satellite communications and high-speed internet). The business jet also boasts 14 panoramic portholes, the largest existing on the market today. As for its 14m long cabin, this should enable it to fit up to 19 passengers, although Gulfstream highlights a VIP arrangement for eight people in its brochures. The cruising speed of the G600 is around 900 km/h, with a price tag of $55 million.