US business jet maker Gulfstream declines to comment on a report indicating it will launch two new business jets soon.
Industry publication The Air Current reported on Oct. 1 that Savannah-based Gulfstream is on the cusp of developing a new ultra-long-range model that could be called the “G800,” and an aircraft. smaller, maybe called “G400”.
The Air Current is not disclosing any source and Gulfstream does not confirm or deny the report.
“Gulfstream hasn’t made any announcements,” the company told FlightGlobal.
Gulfstream adds, however, that it is hosting a live “Gulfstream Special Announcement” at 8:00 p.m. local time on October 4. He did not disclose the subject of this ad.
Aerospace analysts note that for years there have been rumors that Gulfstream may develop a new upper-mid-size jet – something like, perhaps, a “G400” – to fill a gap in its portfolio.
That gap is between Gulfstream’s 10-passenger, 3,600nm (6,667 km) G280 and its 19-passenger, 5,200nm G500, said Richard Aboulafia, analyst at Teal Group. A new model in this opening would compete with two aging models. These include Bombardier’s Challenger 650, which entered service in 2015 but is based on an aircraft that first flew over 40 years ago, the Challenger 600. The other is the Falcon 2000S and Dassault 2000LXS, based on an aircraft that entered service in 1995.
This segment “has the lowest fruit in the industry,” said Aboulafia, estimating that Gulfstream could sell such a jet at a price of around $ 30 million. “You shouldn’t be able to find a $ 20 bill on the sidewalk, but that $ 20 bill has been around for a while.”
Hitting the midsize segment now makes sense for Gulfstream because Bombardier is loaded with a “tough track record” and Dassault is busy developing two jets, the Falcon 6X and 10X, Aboulafia says.
Business aviation consultant Brian Foley considers a “G400” to be “sort of squarely above the G280,” which Gulfstream manufactures in partnership with Israel Aerospace Industries. This jet entered service in 2012 and has seen average sales, with some 220 jets delivered, according to data from Cirium fleets.
In 2020, Gulfstream was keen to reverse industry speculation that it was considering replacing the G280. “Our commitment to the G280 remains strong. The rumors are not true, ”Gulfstream Chairman Mark Burns told reporters on March 30.
A new large-cabin jet like a “G280” would sit next to Gulfstream’s currently developing G700, a 19-passenger flagship jet advertised to have a range of 7,500nm. Analysts remain unclear on the potential capabilities of a “G800,” saying it could perhaps have more range or a larger cabin.
A decision by Gulfstream to launch a new large-cabin jet could “kill all hope” for Bombardier to launch its long-awaited Global 8000. Montreal-based Bombardier launched its 8000 in 2010 alongside the 7000, which became the 7500. Project 8000 apparently stalled while Bombardier brought the 7500 to market.
A new large Gulfstream jet could also help the American aircraft manufacturer counter the Dassault 10X, which is expected to enter service in late 2023. Powered by RR Pearl 10X turbofan turbofan engines, the $ 75 million 10X will have a range of 7 500 nm and the widest cabin in its class. .
Foley, whose company is Brian Foley Associates, calls the 10X the “Queen of Heaven, until something else comes along.”
He suspects that a new large-cabin Gulfstream jet is “coming out of the curtain” for its G650, a model that entered service in 2012 and is ready for a refresh.
Foley speculates that Gulfstream is well positioned to bring efficiency and savings to its future aircraft programs, whatever they may be. In fact, the aircraft manufacturer has, in recent years, abandoned “legacy manufacturing techniques” and rationalized production. “In the future, they will be well equipped by having a less expensive product to produce,” he says.