It was at Geneva’s EBACE show, in Switzerland, where the main players in business aviation are gathered together from the 18 to 21 May, that Gulfstream announced that they had successfully carried out the first flight of their G500 prototype.
After its official presentation in October, and some 34,000 hours of tests later, the G500 undertook its first flight on 18 May. The long-haul twin-jet took off from Georgia’s Savannah Hilton Head Airport, which Gulfstream use as their world headquarters, to return two hours later.
The G500 can accommodate eight passengers in comfort. Its two Pratt & Whitney engines give it a cruising speed of 900 km/h (560 mph) over an operating range of more than 9,000 km (5,600 miles), allowing it to fly non-stop from Los Angeles to London or Tokyo, for example.
The spacious and fast G500, has the French Dassault Aviation Falcon 5X and Canadian Bombardier Global 6000 as competitors. The G500 is expected to cost around $ 50 million each, with first deliveries expected in 2018.