[Almost] Faster Then
a Speeding Bullet
To the non-aviator eye, it might be true that most bizjets look alike. But for those who troll the tarmac appreciating expensive flying hardware, there's Gulfstream, and then there's everything else. In the world of the uber-elite, nothing shouts "bucks up" quite like an arrival in a Gulfstream.
And in a market sector that is so wildly competitive despite a slumping world economy, the fight for performance supremacy keeps creeping up to higher levels. Recently, Gulfstream announced their latest attempt to raise that bar to scary new heights:
"Gulfstream Aerospace has announced the introduction of an all-new business jet: the Gulfstream G650. The G650 offers the longest range, fastest speed, largest cabin and the most-advanced cockpit in the Gulfstream fleet. It is capable of traveling 7,000 nautical miles at 0.85 Mach or 5,000 nautical miles at 0.90 Mach. Using an advanced aerodynamic design, the G650 has a maximum operating speed of 0.925 Mach, which will make it the fastest civil aircraft flying. It can climb to a maximum altitude of 51,000 feet, allowing it to avoid airline-traffic congestion and adverse weather."For those of you without a calculator handy, that Maximum Operating Speed of 0.925 Mach works out to be 704.116 MPH, just shy of that magic threshold of 770 MPH, which we know to be the speed of sound. Yes, friends, with a slight tailwind up there at FL510 – and with the throttles firewalled – it is conceivable that a bizjet full of CEOs returning from a golf vacation on Maui might actually POP THE SOUND BARRIER as they blast eastbound over California.
The G650 is some kind of ride, and is priced just north of $58.5 million. That's a lot of cash, but you get a seriously fast machine:
"The G650 is powered by the new Rolls-Royce BR725 engine, which produces 16,100 pounds of thrust at take-off. The BR725, in combination with the new, high-efficiency thrust-reverser system and an all-new aerodynamically optimized wing, means the G650 can meet the latest take-off certification requirements, has excellent “hot and high” performance and offers outstanding intercontinental range. For example, the G650 can travel the 6,370 nautical miles from Dubai to Chicago 88 minutes faster than existing long-range jets. It shaves 31 minutes off the 4,788-nautical-mile trip from Los Angeles to London and 50 minutes off the 5,932-mile trip from New York to Tokyo."One of the best things I can say about the G650 is that this wonderful jet will have "Made in the USA" stamped on it's data plate:
The G650 will be produced in the recently completed 308,000-square-foot manufacturing facility at Gulfstream in Savannah.I believe that is reason enough to buy a G650...U.S. jobs. Not that any other major players in the bizjet game are offshoring their jet manufacturing yet...they are not. But in these tricky economic times, it is always reason to celebrate any time a big corporation announces a hefty new project that will be built in the USA.
So now, the only questions remains: How the hell can I convince the CFO that our aviation ad agency can indeed afford $58.5 million? Only two words can get me the G650 of my dreams...