The G500 and G600 are part of Gulfstream's new family of clean-sheet aircrafts which have been in development since 2008. and the G500 is the first of the two to begin flight testing.
During the flight test, the aircraft climbed to an initial altitude of 10,500 feet and reached a maximum altitude of 15,000 feet with a top speed of 194 knots. The G500 can fly 5,000 nm at Mach 0.85, or 3,800 nm at Mach 0.90 which is the same operating speed as it is for their G650 and G650ER, right below the speed of sound.
The aircraft is powered by the new Pratt & Whitney Canada PW814GA engine, delivering excellent fuel efficiency, emissions, and a much quieter engine. This past February, Pratt & Whitney Canada received certification of the PW800 series engine.
Over the course of the 2-hour-and-16-minute flight (10:39 a.m - 12:55 p.m.), the crew checked all primary flight control systems, evaluated handling qualities, takeoff and landing configurations, simulated approaches, and used their Symmetry flight deck touchscreen controllers to check all systems.
"The successful first flight of N500GA represents the tremendous investments we have made in the G500 program. We have achieved this milestone thanks to Gulfstream's world-class research and development teams and our commitment to setting new standards for business aviation."
The $43.5 million G500 can carry up to 19 passengers and is expected to enter service in 2018.