Two More Test Aircraft Fly for G500 Program

Two additions to the Gulfstream G500 flight test program have completed first flights and will be undergoing rigorous testing that will help the new aircraft model achieve certification.

The aircraft, designated T2 and T3, flew from Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport on Nov. 20. The crew of T2 exercised all primary flight control systems, performed functional checks of the air data and cabin pressurization systems and completed a series of engine performance measurements.

In addition to performance testing, T2 will provide flight loads validation. During this type of testing, the pilots will fly a series of prescribed maneuvers, such as “roller coasters” and steep banked turns, at different points throughout the aircraft’s flight envelope. The aircraft will be tested in varying configurations (light weight, heavy weight, flaps up, flaps down) to put increased loads on the airframe.

T2 is extensively instrumented to measure the strain on different parts of the airframe during the maneuvers. Analytical models have been developed to predict the strain during these high G-force maneuvers, and the comparison between the measured loads against the predictions help engineers refine the model. The better the model, the more accurately engineers can predict the response of the aircraft when flown at the extremes of the flight envelope.

T3 is testing most of the features in the all-new Symmetry Flight Deck and evaluating the ice-protection system performance, landing gear and nosewheel steering operation and other mechanical systems.
The G500 is expected to receive type certification from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency in 2017. Entry into service is expected in 2018.