Just eight years after Gulfstream launched its development programme, the company is expecting to receive certification for the G500 early in 2018 and for the G600 later in the year – and to deliver them to customers this year. Gulfstream’s Scott Evans explains how the company has avoided the usual delays in manufacturing while offering “a flight deck by pilots, for pilots”.
Scott Evans, Director of Demonstrations and Corporate Flight Operations, says: “A lesson’s only as good as how you apply it. And what we’ve really learned is the more lab activity that we have for the airplanes, the more maturity that we can drive into the airframe. So we spent a tremendous amount of effort increasing the number of our labs to support the activity of the aircraft and two years earlier than we ever had before… that’s now paying off, not only in our flight test activity, but it’s really going to pay off as we start delivering airplanes to our customers, and they start operating them.”
Flight deck reimagined
There have been some big changes to the flight deck, compared to the G450. Evans says: “Some of the major technology changes for us were active control-side sticks”.
The problem was how to overcome the loss of situational awareness between two pilots with a passive system? Evans explains: “When you move the stick, it follows along on the other side…maintaining situational awareness for the crew, and we’re the first manufacturer ever to certify that on an airplane”.
There have also been radical changes to the display units that add more capabilities, with specially adapted touchscreen technology to overcome issues such as turbulence, plus the 8-inch screens provide 2D and 3D maps of airports, showing runways, taxiways, buildings and signs to help pilots navigate on the ground.
Evans says: “Functions that we have to do every day, like interrupt tasks, radio calls – they’re only one swipe away… and now, it’s not just on the centre pedestal…I can do it on any of the outboard or inboard touchscreens…so [it’s] extremely intuitive”.
He concludes, “We were challenged, in the beginning – how do you design a flight deck by pilots, for pilots? And that’s exactly what we went and did”.
Take a tour of the G500
The FINN team was lucky enough to look around the G500 recently. Take our tour: