Well, it’s finally happened. After a delay of more than a year, the Gulfstream G500 has finally received both FAA type certification and production certification, clearing the runway for the much-anticipated jet’s first deliveries.
The G500 project was first revealed to the public in 2014 and will fill the spot in Gulfstream’s stable left by the G450, which was first delivered back in 2005. (The final example of the G450 was delivered earlier this year.) The G500 seats up to 19 passengers, same as the G450, but flies faster—it has a cruising speed of 561 mph (Mach 0.85) and a top speed of 611 mph (Mach 0.925)—and farther (up to 5,984 miles). That final range number is an unexpected bonus, as the G500 was originally expected to be able to fly 5,753 on a full tank.
Inside the cabin, the jet will pamper its passengers with creature comforts like a low cabin altitude, 100-percent fresh air that’s replenished every 2 minutes, 14 large windows to let in natural light, and a seemingly endless cavalcade of personalization options—from handmade silk carpets to porcelain and flatware sets.
The jet was originally supposed to be certified last year, but neglect by a supplier to file the proper paperwork with the European Aviation Safety Agency (the dog ate it; I swear!) pushed final clearance into this year and subsequent delays pushed it back further. Despite the previous delays, Gulfstream is sticking with its most recent estimation that the first aircraft will be delivered by the end of the year. However, there’s no word on how the pace of deliveries will be affected by the saga between engine-provider Pratt & Whitney Canada and supplier Nordam, which recently went bankrupt after a prolonged contract dispute with the former.
Meanwhile, the G500 has been racking up speed records in the lead-up to its delivery, having set 22 city-pair records already. The jet’s sister model, the G600, will be up next for certification, with deliveries potentially starting as early as this year.