The Gulfstream 500 (or Gulfstream V) was the first contender in the ultra-long-range private jet category. It is capable of flying anywhere in the world: nonstop flights from Denver to Beijing or from New Zealand to San Francisco. It is extremely reliable and high-performing. The ultra-long-range private jet class is a very exclusive and competitive one in which the Gulfstream V competes well.
The 1,669 cubic foot cabin usually seats 15 passengers, but can be configured to hold more. The stand-up (6.1 feet high) cabin is 50.1 feet long and is usually partitioned into three separate areas. Noise levels are uniformly low throughout the cabin. An external baggage compartment can hold 226 cubic feet of baggage, or a total of 2,500 pounds. Access is available to this compartment in-flight when flying at or above 40,000 feet. Small additional storage compartments are located under each seat.
Standard cabin amenities include a full-sized galley, equipped for hot and cold food preparation; a sink with running water; power outlets for office equipment; fold-out work tables; and separate lavatories for the passengers and the crew. Satellite TV, multi-screen entertainment systems, and phones for each seat are available as upgrades. If the cabin air feels too dry, an AirData/LeBozec humidifier can be added as well, which increases the cabin humidity be injecting water into the Environmental Control System (ECS) as air cycles through.
Two BMW/Rolls-Royce BR710-48 engines, flat-rated to 14,750 pounds of thrust each, provide the power for the Gulfstream V. The engines were designed to be fuel-efficient and reliable. All engine functions are automatically controlled by the dual-channel FADEC.
Runway performance for the Gulfstream V at sea level is 6,110 feet; at an altitude of 5,000 feet, the G-V takes off in 9,150 feet. It can climb directly to an altitude of 37,000 feet in eighteen minutes, then continue to 43,000 feet for a high speed cruise of 488 knots, or climb to 45,000 feet for a long-range cruise of 459 knots. The highest altitude that it is certified to fly at is 51,000 feet. It is rated to 10.2 psi, meaning that it can maintain a sea level cabin when flying at 29,200 feet. Cabin pressurization is automatically regulated by a computerized pressurization system.
Range/payload capacity is one of the Gulfstream V’s strong points; when loaded to its maximum payload of 6,600 pounds, it still has a range of 6,230 miles (5,416 nautical miles). Its maximum payload is fairly large, especially when considering its maximum takeoff capacity of 85,100 pounds. Since the Gulfstream V is expected to be used for missions as long as fourteen hours, the cockpit can accommodate three pilots.
Reliability was a top goal for the private jet corporation, Galaxy Aerospace. The engine was reportedly strengthened from its original design. Two Vickers hydraulic pumps on each engine (which control the primary flight controls) have lasted 38,000 hours when installed on other airplanes. In the case of both pumps failing, there is a mechanical backup. Other components, like the hydromechanical anti-skid wheel brakes on the long travel trailing link landing gear, were also chosen for their reliability.
The cockpit’s avionics system is built around the Honeywell SPX-8500 suite. One of its optional features is rather notable: a HUD and Kollsman/Opgal Enhanced Vision System (ECS) that gives the Gulfstream V the ability to land in harsh conditions with limited or no visibility. A Forward Looking Infra-Red (FLIR) sensor records light concealed by rain or fog and creates a display in the cockpit of the runway. The display is detailed enough to show even the reflective stripes on the runway.
The Gulfstream V is ideal for those that need to complete cross-country or international flights quickly. The Gulfstream V’s combination of range/payload capacity, speed, and reliability make it a first-rate ultra-long-range private jet.