The Gulfstream 400 has been a central figure in the large-cabin private jet lineup since its introduction to the market, and the Gulfstream 450 lives up to its standards. It can fly eight passengers and three crew members from Tokyo to Seattle at a speed of .80 Mach. Everything from its engines to its flight control systems are high-performing and reliable.
Between fourteen and eighteen passengers should ride comfortably in the Gulfstream 450’s 1,525 cubic foot cabin. Passengers can easily stand in the 6.2 foot high cabin and will enjoy the 7.3 foot width and 45.1 foot length (an 18 inch increase from the G-III). The 169 cubic feet of baggage space is accessible in-flight. Two full-length closets for coat storage are located inside the two fully-enclosed lavatories.
There are plenty of cabin features that should make transcontinental and transoceanic flights enjoyable. To begin with, the full-sized galley comes fully equipped with everything needed for hot and cold food preparation: a high-temperature oven, microwave, full-sized sink with hot and cold water, cooled storage, two coffee makers, and an optional espresso machine. There is even fitted storage space for the dinner service (including crystal and cutlery) custom-made for Gulfstream’s private jets.
Standard and optional electronic offerings include a CD, VHS, and DVD player, two LCD screens, individual headphones at each seat (for the cabin audio system), a fax machine, and satellite phones. Additional features such as power plugs, work tables, and a LAN connection are included as well. Electronics, lighting, and the two-zone temperature control system can be controlled from several different locations in the cabin.
The Gulfstream 450’s Rolls-Royce Tay Mk 611-8C engines are built around the high-pressure engine core of the Spey RB.183-555, which has successfully documented thousands of hours of flight time in various other commercial and private jets. The Rolls-Royce Tay engine, however, gets 2,600 pounds more thrust on takeoff than the Spey. The Tay engines produce 13,850 pounds of thrust each, allowing a sea level takeoff in 5,450 feet. At an altitude of 5,000 feet, the runway requirement is 8,030 feet. The engines easily meet both FAR part 36 phase III noise requirements, producing 79.1 EPNdB on takeoff, and SFAR part 27 emissions limits. Oil consumption and vibration levels are reportedly low as well.
The Gulfstream 450 can climb to 41,000 feet in twenty-three minutes. After more than 800 hours of wind tunnel testing and aerodynamic improvements, the Gulfstream 450 is able to cruise at .85 Mach (476 knots) while at a cruise altitude of 41,000 feet. The Gulfstream 450’s flight envelope extends up to 45,000 feet. The cabin is rated to 9.5 psi, allowing the G450 to maintain a sea level cabin at 22,000 feet. Maximum range (while traveling at .80 Mach with eight passengers and three crew members) is 5,000 miles (4,350 nautical miles).
Much of the Gulfstream 450’s speed and range capabilities can be attributed to a few small improvements to the structure. A new wing design cut down on drag and allowed for an increased fuel capacity, totaling 29,500 pounds. Overall weight was reduced by about 500 pounds due to the use of Kevlar and graphite-epoxy composites in some parts of the cabin and engine nacelles.
The fully integrated cockpit is taken up entirely by four Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT) that display all flight, systems, and navigation information. The full-color CRTs replace the mass of electromechanical instruments and displays that usually take up the control panel. Color radar, dual Flight Management Systems (FMS), navigation computers, and Engine Instrument and Crew Alert Systems (EICAS) are provided by Sperry Flight Systems. The new Enhanced Vision System (EVS) can create an infrared image of the view from the cockpit and displays it on the Head-Up Display (HUD) of the pilot. This image is accurate enough to show details like lights and reflective stripes on the runway, enabling the pilot to fly and even land in low-visibility conditions.
The Gulfstream makes no sacrifices when it comes to cabin space, speed, range, and reliability. It meets every requirement a world traveler could have for a private jet of its novelty and quality.