Continuing the Tradition
The Gulfstream G500 recently continued a longtime flight-test tradition when it performed a tower fly-by at the Brunswick, Georgia, Golden Isles Airport.
The effort, which is fondly referred to as a tower fly-by even when there’s no control tower to actually fly by, is used to calibrate the trailing cone. The aircraft completes a number of low-altitude passes 300 feet over the runway at various airspeeds. Once calibrated, the trailing cone is used in flight testing as the reference source for static pressure air data. Fun fact: The Brunswick airport does not have a control tower, nor is one required for this type of testing. Although some companies do use an observer in a control tower, Gulfstream takes a more modern approach, using a Differential Global Position System (DGPS) and a mobile telemetry unit for this test.