A third Gulfstream G250 business jet has begun the series of real-time tests in the air that will determine whether they will pass muster as Israel Aeronautic Industries (IAI) aircraft.
So far, three of the aircraft have been produced by IAI, all of which are taking part in a 1,300-hour flight-test program. The first, S/N 2001, is focused on performing tests that check in-flight performance and handling. The second, S/N 2002, is working on avionics, and the newest aircraft, S/N 2003, is being checked on systems functionality and reliability.
The third aircraft made its longest test flight on Monday, lasting seven hours and one minute. Its first flight was launched from Ben Gurion International Airport on June 28 and lasted two hours and 56 minutes, reaching a maximum speed of 250 knots and a top altitude of 20,000 feet (6,096 meters).
"It’s exciting to have all three test aircraft in the air,” said Pres Henne, Gulfstream’s senior vice president of Programs, Engineering and Test. He added that the pilots handling the aircraft are pleased with the response of the jets, “rivaling those of our large-cabin aircraft.”
The G250, which has the largest cabin and longest range at the fastest speed in its class, is powered by twin Honeywell HTF7250G engines and is capable of traveling 3,400 nautical miles at Mach 0.80. Its initial cruise altitude is 41,000 feet (12,496 meters).
The first G250 (S/N 2001), which rolled out of the IAI Tel Aviv facility in October 2009, is slated for type certification in 2011, and will be completed at the Gulfstream Mid-Cabin Center of Excellence in Dallax, Texas. It reached its maximum speed of Mach 0.85 and an altitude of 45,000 feet (13,500 meters).
The three aircraft have already flown over 200 hours on more than 70 flights thus far.