Gulfstream Aerospace has unveiled a pair of new twinjets—the G400 and G800—that will bookend each side of its large-cabin jet family and expand that line to six aircraft, beyond the G500, G600, G650ER, and G700. Announced this evening amid fanfare during a ceremony at Gulfstream’s Savannah, Georgia headquarters, the 4,200-nm G400 derived from the G500/600 fills the gap between the super-midsize G280 and G500, while the 8,000-nm G800 that descends from the G650ER throws down a new gauntlet for range in its category.
Three G800s are slated to take part in flight testing, with the first—dubbed T1—already having been rolled out. That aircraft began taxiing under its own power last month in Savannah. Plans call for first flight by year-end. Meanwhile, the G400 is slated to begin flight testing in early 2023.
With the flagship G700 set to enter service in about a year, the two new aircraft are the culmination of Gulfstream’s focus on continuous R&D spending and answers the question of what’s next for the business jet manufacturer. The G400 and G800—slated for service entry in early 2025 and 2023, respectively—also mark the development of the fifth and sixth new aircraft over the past eight years at Gulfstream, according to company president Mark Burns.
“I can’t remember a time when we’ve been so forward-looking than now here at Gulfstream,” he said. “Research and development are a real strength of the company. Thanks to our parent company, General Dynamics, we’ve been able to provide steady funding for aircraft R&D in the last 15 years at Gulfstream. Other manufacturers are only trying to catch up to what Gulfstream is doing.”
Burns added that both new models were long planned for—the G400 was envisioned when the G500 and G600 were announced in October 2014, and the G800 was conceived when the G700 was launched two years ago. “I’ve had to keep these models secret for years, so it’s a relief to finally be able to talk about them publicly,” he said.
When the G800 eventually replaces the G650ER, all of Gulfstream’s large-cabin jets will have common flight decks—notably Honeywell Epic-based Symmetry avionics and BAE Systems active control sidesticks—that will make it easier for pilots to transition between these fly-by-wire aircraft. Further easing training requirements, the G400 through G600 will have a common pilot type rating; the G700 and G800 will also have a common pilot rating.
In addition, the G400, G500, and G600 will share the same tail and fuselage cross-section but have slightly different variants of the Pratt & Whitney PW800-series engine. All three of these jets will be made at the Northwest manufacturing facility at Gulfstream’s Savannah campus.
Meanwhile, the G700 and G800 will share a wing, tail, and fuselage cross-section, in addition to the Rolls-Royce Pearl 700 turbofans, which are on track to receive FAA certification early next year. These ultra-long-range airplanes will be manufactured at the current G650ER production facility in Savannah; G650ER production is in the process of being moved a few doors down to the former G450/550 manufacturing facility. Courtesy of AIN.