Gulfstream G650: Review
The G650 is the first large-cabin aircraft developed by Gulfstream Aerospace from scratch since the debut of Gulfstream II in 1967. Not surprisingly, public expectations were warmed up and the developer was actually forced to set the most ambitious design tasks for himself to supply not only The new flagship, but also its possible future derivatives with unique characteristics that surpass all previous large Gulfstream. In the end, competitors in the face of Bombardier and Dassault are not asleep at all, and to contend with their latest developments is much more difficult than in the days of Gulfstream II.
General Dynamics, the parent company of Gulfstream, is confident that business jets with large salons and range will sell well in the near future, so the G650 program launched a strategy of powerful investment in the development of new products. Presumably, the G650 will become the base model, on the basis of which derivative models with a shorter and longer range will be developed, as well as, possibly, of different lengths. At the very least, this will help the American company to offer a decent response to Dassault and Bombardier. Designing programs from scratch is just one of the new developments in Gulfstream.
The company also invests heavily in the modernization of production processes in order to halve the number of G650 parts with a corresponding reduction in labor costs for assembly. The level of technological innovation used in the development of the G650 is a bit higher than what Gulfstream had previously decided on in its new programs. This is not always obvious, but the more you understand the details, the more you can assess the degree of their study.
The G650 is 35 cm wider, 8 cm taller and much longer than the G550. In total, taking into account the interior, it turns out 250 cm wide, 192 cm high and 13 m from the partition separating the cockpit from the cabin, to the luggage compartment wall in the tail section. Of the records in the parameters - the widest floor of all business jets (not counting the VIP-version of regional aircraft and airliners). In cross section, the fuselage is not a circle, but rather a wide oval, which provides more space at the level of the shoulders and elbows. The interior volume is 28% larger than the predecessor, the floor area is 30% larger.
Branded unsurpassed wide oval windows with the number of 16 have become another 16% more, so now with a huge margin they receive the honorary title of the widest portholes in the world of business jets. At the same time, the weight of the fuselage design is almost the same as that of the G550: impressive structural efficiency, given that the G650's cabin sealing level is higher than that of any other ultra-long-range aircraft. Another innovation for aircraft of this class is the electric drive for opening the door. The entrance door is 192 x 90 cm in size and is equipped with a staircase with stage lighting and a stable railing on both sides. The door can be controlled from the cabin crew workplace.
Only technicians can open the door manually during basic maintenance. Designers have developed a dozen ready-made interior options for the G650. In the plane that we got for testing, the cabin configuration is called Universal 13. In it, the front part of the cabin is given to the crew (rest area, toilet and kitchen unit), the passenger cabin is divided into three zones, and in the tail section there is a toilet and luggage compartment, accessible from the salon. The trim is flawless - this is typical of Gulfstream. The crew rest area (2 m in length) is separated from the passenger part of the cabin by a durable noise absorbing door. There is a seat 60 cm wide, folding into a completely horizontal position (so that it can be used as a certified resting place, you need to get a JetBed mattress), and a folding table.
Simple decoration complements the 17-inch screen on the front partition. A wardrobe and a toilet (transformed into an additional resting place for crew members, the benefit is that there is a porthole, a mirror and drawers for various personal belongings) are located right behind the entrance door. This is followed by a kitchen block (1.35 m), divided into left and right halves, each of which also has its own porthole. On the left side - a working area with a retractable surface and a sink with a water filter. Here are the microwave and convection ovens, containers for beverages, cupboards for dishes, trash bins and dirty dishes. The right half is equipped with holders for a dozen bottles and glasses, ice boxes. A refrigerator is also located here. A sliding screen separates the kitchen from the rest area of ??the crew.
The configuration of the passenger compartment is generally similar to the configuration of the G550, but each zone is larger in all dimensions. Two portholes on each side are equipped with electrically operated blinds. What is more interesting: the electric control of two of the four seats in the club section turns on the heating, adjusts the angle of the backrest and even includes a massage (each seat with this control adds 13 kg to the weight of the aircraft compared to normal). Also, that is, at the touch of a button, tables are laid out. Couples seats, facing each other, laid out in bed. In addition to the overall 26-inch screen mounted in the partition, as an option, individual ones with a diagonal of 12.1 inches are offered. The seats are laid out in bed, so that during the night flight six passengers will comfortably sleep on board the G650 In the central zone, the conference section on the left side (if necessary, turns into a double bed) with extendable tables is complemented by a long low chest of drawers with office equipment on the right.
Seats move 20 cm back and forth and 13 cm into the passage. Emergency exits, also located in the central zone (above the wing), are twice as large as in the G550. In the third zone on the starboard side there is a triple sofa, followed by a bedside table and a first-aid kit. On the left side - two seats that are converted into a bed. Thus, during the night flight on board the G650 will comfortably accommodate six passengers. This zone can optionally be insulated with partitions. The toilet (1.2 m in length) is located in the tail, and in its wall there is a door to the luggage compartment, access to which is restricted to flight level FL400 (that is, actually on the set and descent). The temperature of the air in the cabin is regulated separately in three zones. At the FL410 level, the cabin pressure is maintained at 915 m above sea level, at FL510 - 1.5 thousand m.