G600 Begins Load Testing in Prep for First Flight

A Gulfstream G600 aircraft has begun structural testing to determine limit and ultimate loads, which help confirm the aircraft’s operating parameters.

Gulfstream’s newest aircraft will undergo a series of stress tests into early 2017. Engineers first will test the G600’s limit loads, which represent the maximum load levels the aircraft should experience in its service life. Next, the aircraft will be taken to its ultimate load, which is equal to 150 percent of its designed limit load.

Once limit load testing is completed, the G600 will be cleared for first flight with a limited flight envelope. The envelope establishes performance limits, such as speed and altitude, at which the aircraft is aerodynamically stable. Once ultimate load testing is completed, the G600 will be cleared to verify the G600’s entire flight envelope.

The G600 is designed to fly 6,200 nautical miles/11,482 kilometers at Mach 0.85 and have a maximum speed Mach of 0.925, the same top speed as the Gulfstream G650 and G650ER. Federal Aviation Administration certification of the G600 is anticipated in 2018.