On Oct. 7, 2003 Northrop Grumman announced that Gulfstream Aerospace, a unit of General Dynamics (NYSE:GD - News), had joined its team as airframe provider in the competition to develop the Aerial Common Sensor (ACS). Gulfstream will provide its newest aircraft, the G450, as the ACS RC-20 platform.
The G450 is an entire aircraft upgrade of an already outstanding business jet -- the Gulfstream GIV/GIV-SP/G400, the best-selling business jet in its class, with 500 aircraft built and sold between 1982 and 2002. The GIV entered service in June, 1987 and in December 2002, the last GIV was "rolled out" and the manufacturing line was transitioned to produce the Gulfstream G300 and G400.
Compared with its predecessor model, the GIV-SP, the G450 has a 250nm (463km) longer range, a pressurised cabin altitude that is more pleasant for passengers (6,000ft), Gulfstream's PlaneView cockpit, new Rolls-Royce Tay 611-8C engines with full-authority digital engine control (FADEC) and a new thrust reverse system. The engines are being built by Rolls-Royce Deutschland in Dahlewitz.
In October 2003 Gulfstream Aerospace, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, introduced its newest business jet, the large-cabin, long-range Gulfstream G450. The most technologically advanced business jet in its class, the G450 was officially unveiled at this year's National Business Aviation Association's Annual Meeting and Convention being held Oct. 7-9 in Orlando, Fla.
Gulfstream has been developing two business jets concurrently: the G450 and the large-cabin, ultra-long-range G550, which was certified by the FAA in August 2003. Following the creation of a G550 prototype in 2001, Gulfstream immediately began work on the G450, dubbed "GIV- X" at the time. The first G450 test aircraft completed its first flight on April 30th. Since then, three additional aircraft have entered the flight test program. Together, the four aircraft have completed 58 test flights and have flown more than 150 hours with G450 test pilots and engineers testing the new onboard systems and the PlaneView flight deck. All major system development testing has been successfully completed and FAA Certification tests started.
From the exterior, the discerning observer of the G450 will note the repositioning of the main entrance door and the slightly longer fuselage than that of the GIV/G400. Inside the aircraft, all of the systems in the G450 have been modified to improve safety, passenger comfort and pilot efficiencies.
The G450 outperforms the G400 with a 250-nautical mile additional range capability and improved hot-day and high-elevation takeoff performance. G450 owners, operators, pilots and passengers familiar with the G400 will immediately see and feel the difference provided by the extra 12 inches in the fuselage and changes in the interior arrangement. Inside the cockpit, the flight crew will discover a working environment designed for safety and efficiency with the state-of-the-art PlaneView(TM) cockpit, a fully integrated flight deck that is more advanced than anything found on competing aircraft. In addition the crew will enjoy 30 percent more work space. With Gulfstream's signature Cursor Control Device and large, easy-to-read displays, pilots will use point-and-click technology to access the status of onboard systems or update flight information. Those in the cabin will experience a significant increase in the level of comfort, as a result of improved temperature control and cabin pressure systems.
The G450 incorporates the most advanced avionics, cockpit displays, aircraft systems, aerodynamic enhancements and flight safety features, and retains the aesthetic design and signature windows that have set Gulfstream aircraft apart from its competition. Every aspect of the new Gulfstream G450 was designed for safety, performance, reliability and comfort.
Gulfstream expects to begin G450 customer deliveries during the second quarter of 2005. Based on the aircraft development schedule, Gulfstream expects to receive Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Type Certification in the third quarter of 2004 and validation by the European Aviation Safety Authority in the fourth quarter of 2004.
Rolls-Royce has developed an improved Tay engine, designated the Tay 611- 8C, which produces 13,850 pounds of thrust and was certified in December 2002 by the LBA. It is manufactured by Rolls-Royce Deutschland in Germany. This engine features a Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC), improved larger diameter fan, modified high pressure turbine and new bypass/core mixer. These improvements have resulted in reduced fuel burn, increased operating margins, increased thrust for improved takeoff and climb performance, and extension of maintenance intervals to 6,000 hours midlife and 12,000 hours for full overhaul.
The Tay 611-8C engine, in combination with the new composite, single- pivot, fixed-nozzle (G550 style) thrust-reverser system from Nordam, and a series of aerodynamic improvements, extends the G450 range to 4,350 nautical miles at .80 Mach. That's Dallas to Paris on a hot day with eight passengers aboard. Additionally, the G450 can climb to an initial cruise altitude of 41,000 feet in just 23 minutes and take off from a 5,450-foot runway with a full load of fuel and eight passengers onboard.
The G450 shares many of the same aircraft systems with Gulfstream's ultra- long-range G550 cockpit displays, ECS packs, pressurization system, electrical power, ECS, nose landing gear, nose wheel steering, oxygen and fire extinguishing systems -- just to name a few. Because these common systems are made up of identical parts, a corporation operating a fleet that includes both the G450 and G550 aircraft can reduce the number of spare parts in its inventory, and thus reduce its operational and maintenance training costs. Additionally, the G450 pilot type rating is expected to be the same as the G550 pilot type rating with a minimal amount of additional training on the different engine models.
Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics , designs, develops, manufactures, markets, services and supports the world's most technologically advanced business jet aircraft. Gulfstream has produced more than 1,400 aircraft for customers around the world since 1958. To meet the diverse transportation needs of the future, Gulfstream offers a comprehensive fleet of aircraft, comprising the mid-cabin, high-speed Gulfstream G100(TM); the wide-cabin, high-speed Gulfstream G150(TM); the large-cabin, mid-range Gulfstream G200(TM); the large-cabin, mid-range Gulfstream G300(TM); the large-cabin, long-range Gulfstream G400(TM); the large-cabin, long-range G450, the large-cabin, ultra-long-range Gulfstream G500(TM) and the large-cabin, ultra-long-range Gulfstream G550(TM).
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