Friday, 18 January 2019

Gulfstream in Uniform : Part I

Gulfstream I

The US Navy were the largest user of the Gulfstream I in military service. The type entered service in early 1968 as the TC-4C Academe. The main role in a joint US Navy / US Marine Corps was to train A-6 Intruder bombardiers and navigators. These G159s had been produced with the A-6 Intuder's bulbous nose (see pic below) giving them a very unique look. Unsurprisingly, the retirement of the TC-4C coincided with that of the Intruder in 1995. Most of the nine frames ordered ended their careers at AMARG Davis Monthan, Arizona. Only one TC-4C remains on public view, this at the NAS Pensacola museum, Florida.

One Gulfstream I was operated by the US Army but carried a civilian registration and scheme (c/n 002 N40CE). The final US service to operate the G159 were the two US Coast Guard VC-4As which were used for VIP transport and as in the civilian world, these were replaced by a Gulfstream II.

Only one other Gulfstream I saw military service and that was with the Greek Air Force as a VIP transport. Currently preserved at Tatoi airbase, P9 (c/n 120) flew with the Greeks between 1964 - 1995.
via Wikipedia

Thursday, 17 January 2019

New member of the team

I have been running this blog now for just over 12 years and I was thinking it was time I got some help. I would therefore like to welcome Westleigh Bushell to the editorial team. His expertise in military aviation and all things biz jet will be a great asset I'm sure. I'm hoping he'll be starting a new series shortly. Some of Wes' aviation pictures can be seen on Flickr (link). Welcome Wes.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Round-up 15/1

A 2 week edition although still not a lot to report. The latest G650 demonstrator N650GF (6341) is in service now and was seen at Liverpool just before Christmas. G280 N216GA (2166) ferried from Tel Aviv to Stansted on the 2nd. The next one doesn't seem to be far away. G650 N1895T (6346) flew from Long Beach to Savannah on the 14th using it's new registration suggesting delivery is imminent. Upgrades on the register to G650ER this period are 6347, 6348, 6349, 6359 and 6360. This now passes the 200 mark for ER conversions. A source has stated that the first G500 with the 7th window is #7 which should be the 2nd production aircraft. Without seeing a picture, I can't confirm but as numbers 6, 7 and 8 are likely to be for Flexjet (my guess only), this seems a little strange. As always, time will tell. Further to my post at the end of October, the new N305CC for Carnival Cruises has been identified as con 6348 and has had a slight change of paint scheme. Thanks as always to Michael Carter. Can't wait to see this at either Fort Lauderdale, where it will be based, or Luton. The old one (6021) is already flying as N300CC.

Friday, 11 January 2019

IAI to Gulfstream pt3

The final part of this story (for now) brings us up to date. The 1126 Galaxy used the Astra SPX wing but had a wider fuselage enabling 3 abreast seating and new engines. It first flew on December 25th 1997. In 2001 (along with the Astra that was in production at the same time) it was rebranded the G200 to reflect the merger with Gulfstream. The last G4s became G300s and G400s (G4SP) to complete the range. A total of 250 G200s were built with the last one being rolled out at Tel Aviv in December 2011.
The G200 evolved in to the G250 and first flew on December 11th 2009. Improvements over the earlier G200 included new engines, an updated glass cockpit and a larger wing plus a T-tail. With China becoming an ever more important customer for Gulfstream, it was found that the number 250 in Mandarin was "inappropriate" so the model was rebranded as the G280. Deliveries of these to Dallas for outfitting continue as can be seen in the updates on this blog.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) have now been producing biz jets for 50 years and are just about at the 1000 mark (the 180th G280 will do that). Long may they continue.
G200 above at GVA and G280 below at PBI

Monday, 7 January 2019

Random Gulfstream photo #30

Eric the Pilot has been doing what he does best and has recently visited Freeport Nassau in this lovely Boca Raton based G450. Have offered to carry his bags but still awaiting a reply.
Note. Unless things pick up in the next 24 hours, there is unlikely to be the usual Tuesday round-up tomorrow as very little has happened.

Friday, 4 January 2019

IAI to Gulfstream pt2

Following on from the 1124 Westwind, IAI produced their first indigenous design, the 1125 Astra. First flown on March 19th 1984. It evolved in to the Astra SP and then the Astra SPX, identifiable by winglets. Following Gulfstream's acquisition of Galaxy Aerospace, who held the type certificate for the Astra as well as the later 1126 Galaxy, in 2001 the Astra was rebranded as the Gulfstream G100. In US military use it was known as the C-38A Courier although the Air Force only operated 2 out of Andrews. A total of 152 Astras were built. Cons 5 through 10 were not built and 158 was the last.
The Astra evolved in to the G150. Slightly longer and wider than the earlier model plus a shorter nose which is the easiest way to tell them apart. First flown on 3rd May 2005 with a total of 126 built. Production ended in 2017 with Gulfstream deciding to concentrate on mid-size and large cabin aircraft.
Early Astra landing and G150 taxying
Again, any corrections or comments welcome.

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Round-up 1/1

Happy New Year. More to report this week than I anticipated. The FAA register came back up on Thursday which has helped the cause. The previously mentioned N640GA (6340) cancelled to Bermuda on the 21st and took up VQ-BCT. This sounds like a replacement for VP-BCT but info received suggests it isn't. Former demonstrator N650ER (6306) was cancelled to Guernsey on the 27th but no new registration has come to light yet. G550 N584GA (5584) has been registered to L3 Communications suggesting this will be a special mission aircraft. G5 N514GV (514) cancelled to the IoM on the 28th. Again, no new registration yet. G280 N965GA finally left Luton on the 29th continuing it's flight to Halifax. New ERs this period were 6346 and 6358. Somewhat belatedly, Gulfstream have announced the delivery of the 2 Qatar G500s. See
via GAC

Monday, 31 December 2018

Review of the year 2018

Another 12 months has passed and there has been plenty going on at Gulfstream. The end of an era as the 4th generation ended with the last 2 G450s being delivered and the beginning of a new one with the 7th generation and 10 G500s being delivered this year. Based on G650 6286 being the first delivery of the year and 6343 being the highest, about 58 for the year compared to 60 last. The G550 continues on and 17 took their first flight this year. A trawl through records shows at least 12 were delivered. G280 deliveries also continue with 29 leaving Tel Aviv in 2018 compared to 25 last year. My figures are estimates of actual deliveries but this gives a total of more than 80 large jets which is comparable to the previous year.
The NORDAM problems this year must have had an effect but GD buying the company showed strong management. Hopefully with this behind them, G500 deliveries will get up to the desired levels. The G600 is of course waiting in the wings so expect more news of this model over the next 12 months.
via GAC

Friday, 28 December 2018

IAI to Gulfstream pt1

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) was originally founded in 1953 as Bedek Aviation. Primarily founded to support the Israeli military which it still does to this day. Their first venture into business jets was in 1968 when IAI acquired the license from North American Rockwell to build the 1121 Jet Commander (who had built 150). Rockwell who built the Jet Commander merged with North American who built the Sabreliner which is why the Commander line was put up for sale. Known as the Commodore Jet when production started in Tel Aviv and then became the 1123 Westwind. This incorporated a stretched fuselage and wing tip tanks. Upgraded engines begat the 1124 Westwind (which first flew in July 75) and winglets on the tip tanks created the 1124A (79 NBAA debut), known as the Westwind 2. Many of these remain in service. Israel converted 3 (I believe) to maritime patrol aircraft and were known as Sea Scan. Germany had a fleet (of 6) used for target towing for the military. A total of 292 of all variants were built in Israel. The Gulfstream connection will become apparent in subsequent parts of this story.

IAI 1124 Westwind and 1124A Westwind 2
Any corrections or comments most welcome on this subject.

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Round-up 25/12

Suppose I'd better start by wishing all my readers a Happy Christmas and a great 2019. Am fairly confident there will be plenty of Gulfstreams and news in the next 12 months.
But now, back to business. G650 N640GA (6340) flew from Appleton to Savannah on the 18th and returned to Appleton on the 20th suggesting a delivery may not be far away. How long it will take to report this is anyone's guess with the current US Government shutdown which has taken the FAA register with it. Looked like G650 N650TY (6109) was being re-delivered to Portland on the 19th but returned to Long Beach on the 20th. It departed LGB on the 22nd heading to Guam and then onwards to Manila the following day. G500 N5GG (72014) was delivered Savannah-Teterboro-Boston on the 19th to become the 9th delivery of the type. G500 N518GD (72018) did flights from Savannah to White Plains and back on the 19th and I understand took up it's registration of N188SW and was delivered to White Plains on the 21st to become the 10th delivered. Also on the 19th (a busy day for sure) G280 N965GA (2165) ferried from Tel Aviv to Belfast. It positioned down to Luton the following day for some TLC. It attempted to depart on the 22nd but had to return. Still present as I write.
N965GA seen departing Luton on the 22nd by John Lythgoe

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

First Qatari G500s delivered

Launch customer Qatar Executive have today taken delivery of their first G500s. A7-CGP (72011) arrived at Farnborough from Savannah as QQE461 and was followed 5 minutes later by A7-CGQ (72015) as QQE460 also direct from the factory. CGP departed to Toulouse less than an hour later. This increases the number of this model now delivered to 8. Some intrepid photographers were there despite the poor conditions. The first is from Dave Lythgoe while the rest are by Eric Denison. Many thanks to both.

Update: A7-CGP departed Toulouse and A7-CGQ departed Farnborough on the morning of the 19th and both arrived at Doha, more than 40 minutes apart this time.
Note: It should be pointed out that the tie ups between cons and regs has been assumed at this point but they do seem logical.

Round-up 18/12

A busy 7 days as Gulfstream try to get their delivery stats up. G550 N587GA (5587) appears to have made a first flight on the 11th from Savannah as GLF84. G650 N829AR (6338) ferried from Appleton to Savannah on the 11th and shortly after delivered to Washington Dulles. G650 VP-CSG (6085) returned to the US register as N608JG on the 11th. G650 N665GS (6365) ferried from Savannah to Long Beach on the 12th as GLF68. See pic below. G650 N988DJ (6143) cancelled to San Marino on the 12th and is believed to have taken up T7-ARN. G650 N557JF (6343) delivered from Savannah to Honolulu on the 13th, continuing on to Kunming, China via Guam. Another continuing delivery flight as G650 N9527C (6339) flew from Guam to Singapore Seletar on the 14th. G650 N235DX (6336) delivered from Bradley to Pittsburgh (as MLN235) on the 14th. G500 N261PC (72016) delivered from Savannah to Pittsburgh on the 14th to become the 5th delivery of type while G500 N5117 (72020) delivered from Savannah to Kansas City on the 16th and became the 6th. G500 N511GD (72011) cancelled from the US register to Qatar on the 14th and N515GD (72015) did the same on the 17th.
N665GS arriving at Long Beach by Michael Carter