The Gulfstream 650 was the first clean-sheet business jet at the time of its announcement in 2007, since the G-II became the most successful line of large cabin business jets in the 1960s.
The 650 was a response to Gulfstream’s customers who wanted more cabin space, longer range and more cruise speed and to set new standards in those categories.
Gulfstream G-650 Cabin
The G650 cabin will be 14 inches wider than the G550 and other models, the first cabin cross-section size change since the original Gulfstream I turboprop design of the 1950s.
It will also have 3 more inches of headroom, so even people 6 feet 5 inches in height can stand up straight in the cabin.
Gulfstream G-650 Performance
The G650 promises an amazing combination of both speed and range increases over the G550, the current leader in the category. Since increased cruise speed increases drag, making flying
both faster and farther usually mutually exclusive. Howeveer the all-new G650 wing is so low in drag at high speed that the airplane will have 7,000nm range while cruising at Mach .85 (488 knots).
That is 250 nm more than the G550 offers while cruising at Mach .80 (459 knots), and a full 1,000 more nm than the G550 can fly at Mach .85. Even more impressive is that the G650 can cover
5,000 nm at a high-speed cruise of Mach .90 (516 knots). The only current model that can fly at Mach .90 is the Citation X, and at that speed it has less than half the projected range of the
new G650. Top speed (Mmo) for the new G650 will be Mach .925, besting the Citation X by .005 Mach to claim the title as the fastest business jet, and fastest civilian airplane in any category.
Gulfstream G-650 Limitations
Despite its amazing performance, the G650 will be very much a business jet able to operate from all airports used by business jets today. Takeoff runway at maximum weight will be under
6,000 feet, with landing runway of 3,000 feet even with maximum landing weight. Maximum takeoff weight will be at 99,600, just under the 100,000-pound weight limit, likely to be imposed by
airports around the world to keep out commercial aircraft configured for personal travel. This limitation has been tested and upheld in the courts for Teterboro, NJ (West of New York City) for
just such a weight limit.
Gulfstream G-650 Introduction
Gulfstream formally launched the program for the G650 in May 2005, with the concept under study for several years earlier. Gulfstream operators were generally satisfied with cabin comfort in
the existing airplanes and didn't require an airliner-size cabin, however many preferred a cabin width allowing passengers and flight attendant to easily pass each other in the isle.
Also tall people would always welcome a few more inches of headroom.
Gulfstream G-650 Design
The G650 solution to a standard circular shaped cabin cross-section is a complex oval-shaped fuselage having 4 distinct radii. This results in a highly efficient flattened fuselage so less
"wetted" area is exposed to the slipstream to create drag, while the floor can be far lower near the widest point of the fuselage. Such a shape is structurally complex, but the floor carries
loads in a design resulting in minimal weight penalty. The new fuselage is so strong, that the G650 will have the lowest maximum cabin altitude of any jet at 4,850 feet, while the airplane is
at its certified ceiling of 51,000 feet. At the typical initial cruise altitude of 41,000 feet the cabin altitude will be only 2,765 feet. Gulfstream cabin altitude has always been below the
allowable 8,000 feet, but the G650 sets a new standard helping to reduce passenger fatigue during the over 12 hour missions it can fly. As with other Gulfstreams, 100 percent fresh air is
pumped into the cabin with no recirculation.
Gulfstream G-650 Cabin
The new cabin will enhance another Gulfstream trademark with the new 28 inch wide oval windows, adding another 16%. Using stretched out window spacing provides more room between
passenger seats located next to each of those 16 giant windows.
Gulfstream G-650 Reliability
Gulfstream focused on cabin system reliability, almost as stringent as for critical flight safety aspects such as wing spars. The FAA standard for flight-critical structure and
system reliability is 109 (or one in a million). Gulfstream's engineering chief has decreed that essential cabin systems will meet a 107 (one in 10 million) reliability standard.
That means toilets will always flush, water will always flow and drain, voice communication from the cabin to the ground will always be available and no single point failure can interrupt
the cabin power system. These goals will be met in the same way flight-critical standards are, by adding redundancy and isolating system components so individual failures do not cripple an
entire system. It is a radical concept, until you consider the G650 can fly nonstop between most population centers around the globe with the passengers properly cared for over
those vast distances.