Tuesday 16 November 2021

Disney's Devotion

The Walt Disney Company of Burbank, California has become the second corporation or organization to have operated a member of each of the first seven Gulfstream generations.

The company received its first example when Grumman G-159 Gulfstream serial number 121 was delivered as N732G in May 1964. Yesterday, the sixtieth Gulfstream G600 was delivered to the company's Burbank base from Savannah, Georgia via Melbourne, Florida. 

During the past 57 years, Disney has operated 12 members of the Gulfstream family including:

1st gen  G-159 121 (N732G/N234MM);

2nd gen G-1159s 81 (N281GA/N283MM) and 174 (N900ES);

3rd gen G-1159As 322 (N600ES) and 460 (N500MM);

4th gen G-IV 1135 (N500MM/N100ES) and GIV-X 4209 (N300ES);

5th gen GV-SP 5322 (N900ES);

6th gen GVIs 6014 (N100ES), 6228 (N200ES) and 6397 (N500ES);                 and

7th gen GVII-G600 73060 (N700ES).

Note: ES = Earth Star, Inc., the company that owns the aircraft                          operated by Disney Aviation Group, and                                        MM = Mickey Mouse, Walter Disney's most famous cartoon                        character. 

Tuesday 5 October 2021


With the introduction of the G400 and the G800, Gulfstream's family (excluding the Israeli cousins) now includes 14 models and 22 brand names within eight generations. The following table depicts the evolution of an amazing product line that began in June 1957 with the approval to produce the Grumman G-159 Gulfstream turboprop.

Generation  Model           Brand Name (s)                      ICAO Code

       1          G-159          Gulfstream I/I-C                                  G159

       2          G-1159        Gulfstream II/IITT                               GLF2

                   G-1159B      Gulfstream IIB                                    GLF2

       3          G-1159A      Gulfstream III                                      GLF3

       4             G-IV          Gulfstream IV/IV-SP/G300/G400       GLF4

                    GIV-X          Gulfstream G350/G450                      GLF4

       5             G-V           Gulfstream V                                       GLF5

                     GV-SP        Gulfstream G500/G550                      GLF5

       6              GVI          Gulfstream G650/G650ER                  GLF6

       7         GVII-G400   Gulfstream G400                                 GA4C

                  GVII-G500   Gulfstream G500                                 GA5C

                  GVII-G600   Gulfstream G600                                 GA6C

       8         GVIII-G700  Gulfstream G700                                 GA7C

                  GVIII-G800  Gulfstream G800                                 GA8C

This list does not include the G100, G150, G200 and G280 models that have been manufactured for Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation by Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. of Lod, Israel. 

Saturday 14 August 2021

Honeywell Is Sweet On Gulfstreams

Honeywell International Inc. of Charlotte, North Carolina is the first, and so far the only, company or organization to have operated examples from each of the first seven Gulfstream generations.

The company received its first Grumman G-159 Gulfstream when serial number 147 was delivered as N861H in mid-1965. During the past 56 years, it has operated 17 members of the Gulfstream family including:

1st gen   G-159s 132 (N944H), 147 (N861H) and 181 (N966H);

2nd gen G-1159s 98 (955H), 150 (N966H) and 251 (N944H);      

3rd gen  G-1159As 378 (N955H) and 411 (N966H);       

4th gen  G-IVs 1081 (N955H), 1347 (N988H) and 1383 (N955H);                      GIV-X  4036 (N922H);              

5th gen  GV-SPs  5016 (N944H/N599H) and 5077 (N933H);    

6th gen  GVI  6020 (N922H); and       

7th gen  GVII-G600s  73026 (N151B) and 73041 (N161B).

While the G600s don't wear either a traditional Honeywell registration or the company's long-standing livery, Federal Aviation Administration documents state that the pair are members of the Honeywell fleet.

The G600s are equipped with the Gulfstream Symmetry integrated flight deck, that is based on Honeywell's proven Primus Epic integrated avionics system.

Will Honeywell eventually operate an 8th generation GVIII-G700? While only time will tell, it is worth noting that the company is supplying key avionics for the new model. 

Thursday 8 October 2020

A Ninth Gulfstream Customer Joins A Prestigious Group

International Business Machines Corporation was added to an exclusive list of Gulfstream customers yesterday, when it took delivery of a new G650ER. With the arrival of N780TW (serial number 6435) at White Plains, New York. IBM became only the ninth organization to have operated at least one example of each of the first six Gulfstream generations.

The company received its first example 56 years ago, when a Grumman G-159 Gulfstream (serial number 173) was handed over to a completion centre in September 1964. Once furnished, it was assigned to IBM World Trade Corporation, wore N360WT and was based at Le Bourget, France. 

Photo of N360WT at London Heathrow Airport in 1970 by Chris England

During the subsequent five decades, IBM has operated three G-1159 Gulfstream IIs (sn 58/N720Q, sn 65/N720E and sn 66/N720F); two G-1159A Gulfstream IIIs (sn 428/N760A and sn 430/N760C); one G-IV Gulfstream IV (sn 1165/N780E); one G-V Gulfstream V (sn 530/N780F) and two GV-SP Gulfstream G550s (sn 5258/N780E and sn 5261/N780F). The GVI is the company's 11th Gulfstream - making it one of the aircraft manufacturer's most loyal and longstanding customers.

Incidentally, the Tango Whiskey suffix in the G650ER's registration stands for Thomas Watson. He was IBM's Chairman and CEO from 1914 until 1956. His son, Thomas Watson, Jr., was Chairman and CEO from 1956 until 1971. 

UPDATE: On January 11, 2021, IBM received its 12th Gulfstream when its second G650ER (sn 6442/N780RW) arrived at White Plains, New York from the completion centre at Appleton, Wisconsin.

Friday 19 June 2020

Fifth Generation Production Winding Down

Gulfstream Aerospace recently announced that it had "sold the last commercially available Gulfstream G550". It is due to be delivered during 2021. GAC noted that this sale cleared "the way for production of the award-winning business-aviation icon to wind down." While "commercially available" might be interpreted by some that additional military orders are in store, the same press release definitively stated that "manufacturing of the G550 will end."

The initial fifth generation model, the GV Gulfstream V, first flew on November 28, 1995 and was certified on April 11, 1997. A total of 193 GVs were produced before its successor was introduced. Based on the GV's airframe, the GV-SP had two variants - the G550 and the shorter range G500. Only 10 of the latter model were built.

Since its certification on August 14, 2003, more than 600 Gulfstream G550s have been delivered to civilian and military operators. Armed forces have found the type's 6,750NM range suitable for head of state travel and for Airborne Early Warning (AEW) missions.

With more than 400 sixth generation models (G650 and G650ER) in service; ongoing deliveries of seventh generation models (G500 and G600); and the flight test programme of the eighth generation model (G700) underway; it was not surprising to learn that the production of the remaining fifth generation model (G550) will be coming to an end.

Gulfstream V N427HG departing Farnborough
Gulfstream G550 N550GA arrives into Farnborough

Gulfstream C-37A 01-0028 at RAF Fairford

Tuesday 16 June 2020

Valuable Customer Receives A Seventh Gen Gulfstream

The Coca-Cola Company of Atlanta, Georgia received its first Gulfstream in March 1962. The Grumman G-159 (serial number 86) wore N678RW. During subsequent decades, the flight department has operated G-1159 Gulfstream II, G-1159A Gulfstream III, G-IV Gulfstream IV, G-V Gulfstream V and GV-SP Gulfstream G550 models. It has also flown IAI-built G200 and G280 aircraft.

More recently, the fleet has been a trio of Gulfstream G550s         (c/n 5370/N386RW, c/n 5448/N586RW and c/n 5484/N486RW). 

More than 58 years after it received is first Gulfstream, Coke took delivery of a seventh generation model last week. GVII-G600 Gulfstream G600 serial number 73023 wears N886RW. 

Registration Trivia: 86 = 1886, the year the original beverage's formula was created.
                                RW = Robert W. Woodruff, the company's President from 1923 until 1954.

Photograph taken by Westleigh Bushell at Farnborough Airport. 

Monday 1 June 2020

A Longtime Gulfstream Operator Upgrades

Corporations that have flown Gulfstreams for more than half a century should be noted for their customer loyalty. One example is Eli Lilly and Company of Indianapolis, Indiana. The 144-year-old pharmaceutical giant received its first example in January 1966. The Grumman G-159 Gulfstream (c/n 161) wore N307EL.

During the past 54 years, the company has also operated two G-1159 Gulfstream IIs (c/n 68/N308EL and c/n 250/N309EL) and three G-IV Gulfstream IVs (c/n 1021/N310EL, c/n 1095/N311EL and c/n 1105/N312EL). The latter two (registered on May 23, 1989 and August 19, 1989, respectively) are currently the longest serving G-IVs with their original owner.

In addition to those six Gulfstreams, Lilly has operated a BAC 1-11-401AK (c/n 072/N310EL), a Boeing 707-323C freighter (c/n 18692/N309EL) and a Beech 200 Super King Air (c/n BB-708/N313EL).

On May 29, 2020, a new GVII-G500 Gulfstream G500 (c/n 72045) was registered to Eli Lilly as N307EL. A second G500 (c/n 72052/N308EL) is expected to join the flight department at KIND later this year. Given that the two G-IVs are 31-years-old, its seems likely that these veterans will be retired.

For a company with annual sales of US$22.3 billion and 34,000 employees, Lilly has been prudent with the size of its fleet. The fact that it has once again selected a Gulfstream model speaks volumes about its expectation that the G500s will be able to perform reliably for many years to come.

Monday 11 May 2020

G700's Development Gains Momentum

Having flown for its first time on February 14, the prototype Gulfstream GVIII-G700 now has two fleet mates participating in the flight-test program. The second example (c/n 87002 N702GD) first flew on March 20 and the third (c/n 87003 N703GA) took to the air for its first time on May 8.

The three aircraft have accumulated more than 100 hours of flight time. As well, the new model has flown as high as 54,000 feet / 16,459 metres and as fast as Mach 0.94.

Production of Gulfstream's new flagship is ramping up and there are now eight airframes posted on the United States Civil Aircraft Register.

                                     Photo courtesy of Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Friday 14 February 2020

G700's First Flight!

For those who love  Gulfstreams, this year's Valentine's Day was special.
At 1:19PM (EST) / 6:19PM (GMT), the prototype GVIII-G700 took off for its first time at Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport.
N700GA (serial number 87001) operated as GLF25 and used the model's new ICAO aircraft type designator (GA7C). After flying as high as 25,000 feet, it landed 2 hours and 32 minutes later.
Photo courtesy of Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Wednesday 1 January 2020

Happy New Year!

Good Morning all,

Ted and myself just want to wish you all a very happy new year and hope that 2020 will bring us some exciting Gulfstream news.

One big milestone will be the opening of Gulfstreams Farnborough maintenance facility that is very much on target for a planned third quarter 2020 opening. To give you all an idea, i have added a photograph below of HZ-ARK seen just over the new Hangar on 30th December.

Wednesday 18 December 2019

The 400th* Gulfstream GVI Enters Service

Almost two weeks ago, on December 5, Gulfstream Aerospace announced that the 400th Gulfstream GVI had been delivered. It was the delivery of the 400th unit built. Serial number 6400, registered as N651MP, was flown to its new base at Birmingham, AL. Since then, the same owner has received its second G650ER - N652MP / 6405.

Today, a business aviation milestone was reached when the 400th* Gulfstream GVI entered service. Serial number 6401, registered as A7-CGG, flew overnight as QQE460 from Savannah, GA to Stansted, UK. Notably, it is Qatar Executive W.L.L.'s seventh G650ER. The Doha-based operator now has the world's largest fleet of the type.

The 400 GVIs delivered to date include 156 G650s and 244 G650ERs.

This remarkable event comes almost seven years to the day after the first two G650s were delivered on December 20, 2012. Serial number 6007 was delivered to Wynn Resorts as N711SW and serial number 6010 was accepted by Exxon Mobil as N100A.

 The EIS of the 400th GVI represents an average production rate of 4.75 units per month during the past seven years. A mighty impressive number for Gulfstream's flagship model.

* this number represents fully furnished aircraft and excludes airframes 6001 and 6002 that served as flight test aircraft for GAC.

G650ER (serial number 6087) N650GA  at Dulles, Virginia.
Photo by Frederick K. Larkin

Wednesday 6 November 2019

First European G500

Following on from EASA Certification (15th October) Blackbird Air Charter of Billund, Denmark have taken delivery of G500 (72019) OY-WLD. Flying from Savannah to Miami on 26th October and then crossing the pond from New York JFK on the 28th October to its new home base in Denmark marking the first delivery of a European registered Gulfstream G500. Using the fixed callsign BBB1 OY-WLD was caught arriving into London Biggin Hill on the 6th November.