Following a three-year pandemic-induced hibernation, EBACE is returning to an in-person show with the debuts of two of the latest high-end, large-cabin business jets: the Gulfstream G700 and Dassault Falcon 6X. The ultra-long-range jets are on display—the G700 at Static AD_7 and the 6X at AD_20—for public purview for the first time at any major event.
The G700, Gulfstream’s forthcoming flagship introduced at NBAA-BACE in 2019, is setting new performance and comfort standards. En route to EBACE, the aircraft—S/N 6, registered as N706GD—set its seventh international city-pair speed record: from Gulfstream's headquarters in Savannah, Georgia, to Geneva in 7 hours and 37 minutes—achieving an average speed of Mach 0.90. That flight was conducted using sustainable aviation fuel.
S/N 6—the first fully-outfitted production G700 that is on static display this week in Geneva—will return to Savannah after the show to rejoin the other five flight-test aircraft in the certification program. Critical phases of flight tests—including envelope expansion, flutter, aerodynamic stalls, flight control systems, and cold weather and high altitude testing—have been successfully concluded. A second fully outfitted production test aircraft is expected to make its first flight this summer.
The G700 is scheduled to enter service in the fourth quarter, but new FAA certification mandates requiring enhanced OEM procedures for validating software could push the schedule back three to six months, Gulfstream said.
Comfort-wise, the G700 will feature Gulfstream’s tallest, widest, and longest cabin, measuring six feet, three inches (1.91 m) high by eight feet, two inches wide, and 56 feet, 11 inches long, offering up to five living areas. The cabin configuration choices seat up to 19 passengers and sleep up to 13 in fully articulating and berthable seats from Gulfstream.
A large galley is well-equipped enough to bring a chef aboard to prepare meals from scratch instead of relying on catering. Master suite options include a master bath and spa shower.
The twinjet’s weather-topping maximum operating altitude of 51,000 feet, combined with a low cabin altitude (2,916 feet at 41,000 feet, and 4,850 feet at 51,000 feet), circadian lighting, and 100 percent fresh, non-recirculated air, ensure passengers arrive fresh at their destinations. For staying productive and entertained along the way, Inmarsat Jet ConneX Ka-band broadband satcom is standard.
With a 7,500-nm range and new high-speed wing and winglet, the G700’s performance highlights include a max speed of Mach 0.925, max cruise of 0.90, and a Mach 0.85 long-range cruise speed. Power from two Rolls-Royce Pearl 700 engines, tailored for the new jet, deliver 18,250 pounds of thrust.
Accompanying the G700, Gulfstream is also presenting a G500 and G600 at its static display—all are open to attendees, though visitors may have to wait in line to go onboard.
Falcon 6X Takes a Bow on Static Line
The Falcon 6X that is making the type’s public debut, F-WZOA, is the fourth of the 5,500-nm range business jets to be built and is the first to be fitted with a full interior. It first flew late in the first quarter and is being employed for cabin design verification and demonstration of the operational maturity of the design.
Next month, the aircraft is embarking on a four-week, 40-stop, 150-flight hour round-the-world tour to validate the reliability of the aircraft and onboard systems in real-world conditions ahead of entry into service, which is now slated for mid-2023. That date reflects a delay from the original late 2022 schedule by a few months, caused by Covid-related supply chain issues.
During the tour, the aircraft will fly with a full crew of pilots, flight attendants, engineers, and interior specialists. More than 250 test points are planned, and operations will cover long-haul night flights, long runs at high speed (Mach 0.88), flying up to seven sectors in one day, and operations from a range of airfield elevations and short runways, and in a wide range of climatic conditions.
The three earlier flight-test Falcon 6Xs have now amassed more than 850 flight hours since the first took to the air on March 10 last year. Envelope expansion and most development flying is complete, the aircraft having achieved Mach 0.97 in a shallow (15- to 17-degree) dive as part of the effort to clear it to fly operationally at up to Mach 0.90. It has operated from airfields of 9,000-foot elevation, in cold-soak conditions down to -30° degrees C, and has performed heavy braking trials.
EASA flight evaluation has begun, while contaminated runway and natural icing tests are still to be performed. The aircraft's Pratt & Whitney Canada PW812D engine was certified by Transport Canada late last year, and pilot training is getting started, with the first simulator for the EASy IV flight deck being installed at CAE’s facility in Burgess Hill in England.
The fifth Falcon 6X—which will be the first customer aircraft—is now undergoing completion at Little Rock, Arkansas, and the sixth is to join it there imminently, Aircraft S/Ns 7 to 15 are in final assembly at Dassault’s Bordeaux-Mérignac factory.