The Victor team recently had the pleasure of visiting Gulfstream’s prestigious headquarters in Mayfair. Gavin Thompson, Regional Sales Manager, led our team of Aviation Advisors through the distinctive nuances and features of their diverse models. Additionally, Michael Bryden, Principal Designer, generously provided insights into the typically client-exclusive design process. For this article, we have captured our learnings and key points to consider when deciding whether a Gulfstream is the right jet for your trip.
Gulfstream has been on a remarkable journey of innovation. Founded in 1958, one of their first clients was none other than one Walt Disney, who acquired the now iconic Grumman Gulfstream 1 that would come to be known as “The Mouse.” Gulfstream is now offering seven different models of aircraft, with the highly anticipated G700 expected to enter service later this year followed by the G800 and G400 aircraft.
It would be nearly impossible to outline every single idiosyncrasy of the various Gulfstream products. However, perhaps the most impressive standout feature of their latest models is the innovative technology designed to make their passengers as comfortable as possible.
Taking the pressure off flying
Gulfstream aircraft can fly at remarkable altitudes, in fact, the ‘highest-flying private jet’ title currently goes to the Gulfstream G650, which reaches a service ceiling of 51,000 feet. Despite this, Gulfstream technology means that they can acclimatise the inside of the cabin to significantly reduce the sense of fatigue commonly associated with flying at high altitudes.
Impressively, the G700 flagship registers a cabin altitude of 2,916 feet while it is flying at 41,000 feet (about 12.5 km). For context, this means that even though the jet itself will be high enough that you will be able to see the curvature of the Earth, the cabin altitude will feel no different to sitting in the highest room in the Burj Khalifa.
To put this into further perspective, most commercial aircraft cabins are pressurized to 8,000 feet above sea level, an altitude that lowers the amount of oxygen in the blood by about 4 percentage points, researchers say. According to Gulfstream, the purpose behind their technology is to ensure they can continue to improve efficiency, advance their sustainability objectives and goals, and provide an environment that those who use their aircraft can arrive at their meetings or places of work feeling refreshed and energised. Moreover, this means that the flight crew who are on duty and undertaking a number of duties are also operating in safer, more optimised conditions.
A breath of fresh air
Further owing to Gulfstreams commitment to passenger health and comfort, their latest models also boast an innovative system that replaces cabin air every two minutes. There is absolutely zero reliance on air circulation systems or more commonly used HEPA filters. This is achieved through a sophisticated air management system that removes contaminants, odours, and moisture from the air, making it clean and fresh. This is a significant advantage for passengers who are concerned about air quality during long flights and ensures that they are breathing clean and fresh air throughout the journey.
It is worth noting that Gulfstreams plasma-ionization air purification system was introduced before the outbreak of COVID-19. Since the pandemic this has of course become a valuable unique selling point for the brand. The fact that they were lab-testing methods for killing airborne pathogens and allergens years before 2019 proves how forward thinking the company really is.
Circadian lighting takes flight
Another standout feature of Gulfstream aircraft is their windows, which are 55% bigger than those of other aircraft. The aim with this is to allow as much natural light into the cabin as possible. On newer models, the cabins also feature ‘circadian lighting’ which helps passengers to maintain their natural body clock and reduce the effects of jet lag.
The interior lighting on certain aircraft simulates the sunlight of your next time zone, using a dense array of LEDs and precision colour control to provide a realistic circadian rhythm experience.
Colin Miller, Senior Vice President of Innovation, Engineering and Flight for Gulfstream Aerospace noted in a recent interview, “The light levels the system offers can go from 0.1% to 100% through 68,000 light steps (compared with the 300-400 of other business jets). Our system mixes warm and cool white light with amber LED to better simulate natural light and incorporates more than 20,000 high-definition LEDs in the main cabin alone,” he adds. “As a result, passengers can ease into their new time zone, greatly reducing the physical impact of travelling around the world.”
Latest and greatest
While the current in-service models are undoubtedly impressive, there is further excitement upcoming with the sheer ingenuity of the highly anticipated Gulfstream G700 and G800 aircraft.
At the heart of the G700 lies a harmonious fusion of efficiency, space, and size, epitomised by the ability to carve out five distinctive zones within its lavish cabin. This aircraft pushes the boundaries of innovation, delivering an unparalleled experience to its passengers. Meanwhile, the G800 is set to redefine long-range capabilities, boasting an astonishing range of 8,000 nautical miles. This impressive feat will position it as the world’s most efficient and longest-range business jet, capable of flying travellers from London to Australia direct – without the need for any layovers.
Yet, beyond these remarkable achievements, Gulfstream’s unwavering commitment to sustainability takes centre stage. Their dedication to the sustainability journey serves as a cornerstone of their ethos. The New Generation of Gulfstream aircraft exemplifies this ethos, propelled by the significant investment in research and development by their parent company, General Dynamics. The results of this investment are resoundingly evident. The G500 alone showcases a remarkable reduction of over 30% in emissions, coupled with enhanced fuel efficiency.
Another testament to this ongoing investment is the introduction of the Symmetry Flight Deck and Data Concentration Network (DCN) across the G400, G500, G600, G700, and G800 aircraft. The Symmetry Flight Deck equips pilots with a comprehensive and intuitive interface, complemented by active sidestick controls, enhancing operational efficiency and situational awareness. As for the DCN, it represents the pinnacle of avionics systems in business aviation. Beyond relaying information, it also performs intricate functions, elevating intelligence and safety to unprecedented heights.
If you would like to learn more about the Gulfstream difference, feel free to get in touch with one of our expert Aviation Advisors who can guide you towards the aircraft most suitable for the journey you have in mind.