Gulfstream's flagship G700 business jet makes its maiden flight
Rolls-Royce and Gulfstream Aerospace have scored a double first as the Gulfstream G700 business jet and two Rolls-Royce Pearl 700 engines made their maiden flights at the same time. On February 14, 2020, the G700 powered by the Rolls-Royce engines took off from Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport in Georgia at 1:19 pm EST for a two-hour-and-32-minute test flight.
Unveiled at the 2019 National Business Aviation Association Convention & Exhibition in Las Vegas, the G700 is Gulfstream's new flagship business jet. With its wingspan of 103 ft (31.39 m), it's the largest aircraft ever built by the General Dynamics subsidiary and its high-speed cruise of Mach 0.90 (668 mph, 1,074 km/h) for 6,400 nm (7.365 mi, 1,853 km) or long-range cruise speed of Mach 0.85 (630 mph, 1,015 km/h) for 7,500 nm (8,630 mi, 13,890 km) makes it the fastest, longest-range production business jet available.
According to Gulfstream, the G700 has the longest, widest and tallest cabin of any business jet, with up to five living areas and 20 panoramic oval windows. It features an "ultragalley" with over 10 ft (3 m) of counter space, room for a crew compartment or passenger lounge, an ultra-high-definition circadian lighting system to reduce jet lag, a speakerless surround sound system, and a shower in the master suite.
Up front, there's the Gulfstream Symmetry Flight Deck with electronically-linked active-control sidesticks, touchscreen consoles, and Gulfstream's Predictive Landing Performance System. In addition, the aircraft boasts new winglets that help it to operate from weight-restricted, short-runway, and high-altitude airports.
Powering the G700 are two Rolls-Royce Pearl 700 engines, which were developed for the business jet at the Rolls-Royce Centre of Excellence for Business Aviation Engines in Dahlewitz, Germany. Generating 18,250 lb of thrust, the new engine with its 51.8-in (131.6-cm) bladed disk fan combines the company's Advance2 engine core with a brand-new low-pressure system for greater efficiency. A 30/70 blend of sustainable aviation fuel for the first flight.
The St. Valentine's Day flight was the first in a series of ground and flight tests that are being conducted by five flight prototypes and a structural test article. The first customer delivery is slated for 2022.
"This is a truly great moment for all of us and we are very proud," says Dirk Geisinger, Director of Business Aviation for Rolls-Royce. "The cutting-edge Pearl 700 is a perfect fit for the Gulfstream G700 and will help the aircraft deliver an unrivaled combination of ultra long-range, speed, and performance. We have already achieved more than 1,500 testing hours and 5,000 cycles, and we are fully committed to supporting the G700 flight test program."
The maiden flight is shown in the following video.