Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Round-up 20/3

A day late this week as haven't been well.
G500 N100JS (72023) delivered to Morristown on the 12th to becoming the 14th delivery of the type. G280 N473GA (2173) ferried Tel Aviv to Stansted on the 17th. G550 N37NG (5580) delivered to Dulles on the 18th. G650 N656GA (6356) ferried Long Beach to Savannah on the 18th. Cancelled to Malta the following day and is believed to be taking up 9H-OKO. Latest G650ER on the register is 6355.
N656GA at Long Beach by Michael Carter

Saturday, 16 March 2019

View from the office window

When you work at Fort Lauderdale and your office overlooks the ramp, it must be difficult to get much work done. Guess that's just me as Alex Peake manages to do both.


Thursday, 14 March 2019

Canadian Gulfstreams - Part 6

During the past 60 years, three key specifications have driven the evolution of corporate jet design. They are: range, speed and cabin size. A new standard was set with the first flight of the Gulfstream G650 on November 25, 2009. It can fly 7,000NM at Mach .85 - a 17% improvement on the G550's maximum range of 6,000NM at M.85. Perhaps more importantly, the G650 can travel 6,000NM at M.90. Gulfstream has since introduced an enhanced fuel capacity modification that is available for G650s either in service or on order. The G650ER can fly 7,500NM at M.85 or 6,400NM at M.90.

Not to be left behind, Bombardier has responded with its new Global 7500. While it and the G650ER share the same published long-range cruise speed of M.85, high-speed cruise speed of M.90 and top speed of M.925, the Global 7500 has an advertised maximum range of 7,700NM versus the G650ER's 7,500NM. The most significant difference between the two aircraft appears to be cabin size. Assuming the installation of a dedicated crew rest station aft of the cockpit, the G650ER has a three zone cabin, while the Global 7500's longer fuselage accommodates a four zone cabin.

Given that more than 400 G650s/G650ERs have been ordered to date, it will be interesting to see how large the market ultimately is for corporate jets that cost more than US$65 million.

Of the more than 340 Gulfstream G650s/G650ERs currently operating, so far only two wear Canadian registrations. The first example, a G650 (6162, C-GNDN), was delivered new to a family in Calgary in December 2015. Having previously had a G450 and a G550, this upgrade might have been expected. The second unit is a G650ER (6252, C-FYRC). It had previously served as a Gulfstream Aerospace demonstrator before being purchased by a Calgary investor in November 2017.
Photo of 6252 at Montreal by Bill Fawcett.
Photo of 6162 at Farnborough by Bob Holland.

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Round-up 12/3

A busy week started with G280 N272GA (2172) ferrying Tel Aviv to Stansted on the 5th and becoming the 3rd one through this Essex airport in 6 days. Also that day, G650 N677GA (6377) ferried Savannah to Long Beach as GLF62. Managed to miss N654GA (6354) going in the opposite direction on the 3rd. This then cancelled to China that night and left Savannah on the 8th heading to Anchorage. It then continued on to Tianjin, China the following day. G650 N350GD (6350) flew Long Beach to Savannah on the 6th and cancelled to Malta as 9H-CAA on the 7th. Delivered overnight 10th/11th to Luqa in Malta. G550 N591GA (5591) appears to have made a first flight on the 6th from Savannah as GLF93. A first at my local as G500 A7-CGP arrived at Luton on the 6th to become the first G500 to visit here. Hopefully the first of many. G500 N924JE (72024) was delivered from Savannah on the 8th to become the 13th delivery. It routed to Springfield MO via Olathe KS. 6351 upgraded to G650ER.
The 400th post to this blog. Many thanks to the team.
Stunning scheme on this G4 at Luton recently. Pic by Dave Lythgoe

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Random Gulfstream photo #35

Eric the Pilot is back on his travels and has kindly sent me this picture of G650 N555GA (6334) at Brunswick GA recently. Had arrived from it's base of Dallas Love Field a couple of days earlier. It would have been rude not to share it, I thought.

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Canadian Gulfstreams - Part 5

Until 1995, corporations and governments that required an aircraft capable of flying more than 5,000NM non-stop had to use modified airliners. The first purpose built business aircraft with such an extensive range was the Gulfstream V. It first flew on November 28, 1995 and could fly 6,500NM while cruising en route at Mach .80. That was a 54% improvement over the Gulfstream IV/IV-SPs' range of 4,220NM at M.80. Bombardier's entry into the ultra long range competition, the Global Express, first flew on October 13, 1996. It also offered a range of 6,500NM at M.80. Dassault later became the third player in the exclusive market niche with the first flight of its Falcon 7X on May 5, 2005. It could fly 5,950NM at M.80.

Since then, all three airframers have introduced variants of these models. They tend to feature slightly improved range and speed capabilities. Gulfstream's G550 flies 6,750NM at M.80. Bombardier's Global 6000 (originally named Global Express XRS) flies 6500NM at M.82, while the slightly shorter Global 5000 flies 5,200NM at M.85. Finally, Dassault's Falcon 8X flies 6,450NM at M.80.

The first Canadian fifth generation Gulfstream was a new G550 (c/n 5230, C-GNDN) that was delivered to a family in Calgary in June 2009. It became C-GXDN in January 2015, then was exported in January 2016. The second one to join the CCAR was a Gulfstream V (c/n 692, C-GLFV) that arrived at its Toronto base in November 2009. The appropriately registered airplane still wore its original Toyota Motor livery.

In March 2011, another new G550 (c/n 5306, C-GBGC) was delivered to a major gold miner in Toronto. Later reregistered as   C-GGPM, it remains with the same operator today. Subsequently, three previously owned units have joined the Canadian corporate fleet. They are c/n 641, C-GUGU in Vancouver; c/n 5283, C-GMCR in Calgary; and c/n 5491, C-GLFG also in Calgary.

As has been the case with the fourth generation Gulfstreams, the fifth generation models have had a difficult time penetrating the Canadian market. The favourite type within this exclusive niche is the Bombardier Global family that is produced in Toronto. Today, the Canadian Civil Aircraft Register shows that Canadian corporations (excluding Bombardier) operate 29 Globals, eight Falcon 7Xs, two Gulfstream Vs and three Gulfstream G550s.
C-GLFV, the penultimate Gulfstream V. Photo by Frederick K. Larkin

G550s C-GBGC and C-GNDN by Bob Holland

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Round-up 5/3

G200 4K-AZ88 (189) had an "incident" at Moscow SVO on the 26th. See aviation-safety.net The 28th was a busy day. G280 N270GA (2170) ferried Tel Aviv to Stansted. G650 N667GA (6367) ferried Savannah to Appleton as GLF44. G500 N939ML (72022) was delivered initially to Portland as GLF44 (see pic below) and G650 N6CP (6349) was delivered Appleton to Trenton. The 4th produced G280 N271GA (2171) ferrying Tel Aviv to Stansted and some research has confirmed that this is the 50th G280 to ferry via Stansted. G650 N5CP (6347) delivered from Appleton to Trenton on the same day. Pfizer now have 4 G650s in their fleet. Don't think we've had an upgrade to G650ER since the end of January. 6357 has just changed to an ER on the register this morning.
Picture by Russell Hill at Portland

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Gulfstream in Uniform : Part VI

Gulfstream V/550 : Electronic warfare

Gulfstream and IAI rolled out the first Gulfstream V "Shavit" in early 2005, this was followed with an official hand over to the Israeli Air & Space Force (IASF) in June the same year. The conversion from a green Gulfstream V to a signal/intelligence (SIGINT) aircraft was taken up at IAI's Tel Aviv Ben Gurion airport facility. Only three Gulfstream Vs undertook the conversion, all future projects were to be on the Gulfstream G550 airframe.

In September 2006 Gulfstream delivered the first of two G550s to Tel Aviv, this was to be the first  Conformal Airborne Early Warning (CAEW) aircraft that the IASF would be adding to the Shavit fleet. The new CAEW aircraft were locally designated the Eitam. All five aircraft are flown by the Nachshon squadron at Nevatim Airbase, Israeli have announced at least one more Eitam will join the fleet.

Singapore was to be the next Air arm to take delivery of a IAI's Gulfstream G550 based CAEW airframe. Four frames undertook conversion and fly with 111sq based at Tengah Air Base, deliveries started in 2008 and by 2010 they were fully operational. IAI provided Italy with two airframes, the deal which saw 30 M346 trainers going in the opposite direction to Israel was completed in 2016.

The Australian Government awarded L3 Technologies a contract for two Gulfstream 550s to be converted to electronic warfare support configuration, these are expected to be the first of five MC-55As that the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) will operate from RAAF Edinburgh.

The US Navy have recently announced that VX-30 at NAS Point Mugu, California will be operating a NC-37B for missile range support. Although N544GD is painted in full "Bloodhounds" markings it is expected to be some time in 2021 before it is flying in its full operational capability as 166379.

Not wanting to miss out on the Department of Defence (DOD) gravy train, BAE Systems has partnered with L3 Technologies to integrate the Compass Call system from a Lockheed EC-130H into the Gulfstream EC-37B. the Electronic Warfare system could see as many at 14 EC-37Bs required to replace the ageing Hercules based at Davis Monthan, Arizona.

As the Gulfstream G550 nears its conclusion, we could certainly see some of the final frames being used for a number of roles that will see them wearing military uniform.
Photo by Ian Harding
Photo by Bob Holland

Thursday, 28 February 2019

Canadian Gulfstreams - Part 4

During the early 1980s, corporate jet buyers expressed their interest in an aircraft that could fly farther and faster, be more fuel efficient and produce less noise in the process. More stringent noise regulations were threatening operational flexibility, especially at sound sensitive airports. Dassault responded on Sept.21, 1984, when its Falcon 900 wide-body tri-jet first flew. It could fly 4,300NM at Mach .75. This presented a challenge to the Gulfstream III's range of 3,650NM at M.77. A year later, on Sept. 19, 1985, the first Gulfstream IV flew. Its range was 4,220NM at M.80. Besides being capable of flying 15% farther than the GIII, it had a 4.5' longer cabin and quieter Rolls-Royce Tay engines. A year after that, on Sept. 28, 1986, the first Canadair Challenger 601-3A flew. Its range was 3,100NM at M.80. After their respective certifications, all three were operating with flight departments in the fall of 1987.

The first Canadian GIV (c/n 1032, C-FSBR) was delivered to Denison Mines in Toronto in November 1987. The loyal Gulfstream customer had previously operated a GI, a GII and a GIII. It would be almost six years before another new GIV was delivered to a Canadian customer. The Seagram Company of Montreal took delivery of c/n 1207 (C-FDCS, later C-FJES and N77SW) in August 1993. Its U.S. subsidiary (Joseph E. Seagram & Sons) had been, and would continue to be, a significant Gulfstream operator. Over time, it operated two GIIs, two GIIIs, seven GIVs and two GVs.

When previously owned GIVs became available at more attractive prices, Canadian operators took more interest in the type. Since 1993, two GIVs (c/n 1065, C-FCNR and c/n 1103, C-FHPM) and five GIV-SPs (c/n 1224, C-GEIV; c/n 1238, C-GCPM; c/n 1336, C-FORB; c/n 1382, C-GMRX; and c/n 1466, C-FLMS) have been operated by Canadian companies. In addition, three previously owned GIV-Xs (G450s) have been purchased by Canadians. These have included c/n 4030, C-GXDN; c/n 4047, C-GFCP; and c/n 4308, C-FDBJ.

As had been the case with the GIII, the Canadian market proved to be a difficult one for Gulfstream to penetrate with the GIV. Likewise, Dassault delivered only three new Falcon 900s to Canadians from 1987 until 2000. The Canadair/Bombardier Challenger 600/601/601-3A/601-3R/604/605/650 family has dominated the high end corporate jet market in Canada. Of the 901 fourth generation Gulfstreams built, only 12 have worn a Canadian registration. Only a pair were purchased new.
Photos by Frederick K. Larkin

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

A7-CGR update

Eric Denison has kindly sent me a picture of G500 A7-CGR (72021) arriving at Farnborough this morning. Used the callsign of QQE460 for the flight from Savannah. Looks good for a night stop I'd have thought. Think I'm right in saying that all 3 of these G500s have been in Farnborough in the last week.
Update: QQE460 continued on to Doha the following day (27th)