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Gulfstream Unveils the G500 and G600: Luxury Leaps Forward

Forget Apple's big press release Thusday, Gulfstream just beat them to the punch. In front of a crowd of 3,000 people - that sadly didn't include the Boldmethod crew :( - they announced an all new family of business luxury: the Gulfstream G500 and G600.

Gulfstream G500

Gulfstream G600

These aren't a redesign of the G550 and G650 series - they're "clean-sheet" aircraft. And, as always, their numbers, cabins and flight decks are simply stunning.

The Quick Breakdown

The G500 and G600 are slightly smaller versions of their G550 and G650 siblings. But, don't think of these jets as the "economy line" - they're every bit as luxurious, and far more advanced.

Gulfstream G500/G600 Comparison

Both the G600 and G500 top out at Mach .925 (MMO). They hi-speed cruise at Mach .9, and long-range cruise at Mach .85 - the same speeds as the G650 and G650ER. In comparison, the G550 limits out at Mach .885, hi-speed cruises at Mach .87, and long-range cruises at Mach .8.

Both feature an initial cruise altitude of 41,000 feet, and a maximum cruise altitude of 51,000 feet - well above any weather.

The G600 can carry you 6,200 NM and the G500 5,000 NM. Both are a great choice for a quick trip from LAX to JFK.

The G650 and G650ER can't fly into Aspen, Pitkin County in Colorado (KASE) with their 99' 7" wings - the airport has a 95 foot wingspan limitation. The G600, however, can get you in - it features an exactly 95 foot span. Now you can hit the slopes in true style.

The Cabin

Gulfstream's renowned for its luxury, and the G500/600 series won't disappoint. Both feature a 6'4" high, 7'11" wide cabin, an increase on the G550's 6'2" high, 7'4" wide cabin. Both can accommodate 19 passengers, without anyone feeling crowded.

Gulfstream G500 Cabin

Gulfstream G600 Cabin

Best of all, both feature those gorgeous, hallmark oval windows - that span 28 inches wide. Talk about a window seat. As a comparison, my head is roughly 8 inches across, so three people could easily look out of one window without touching. But, with 12 windows on the G500 and 14 on the G600, everyone can have their own window seat. Let the light shine in.

The G500 and G600 maintain a 4,850 foot cabin altitude while cruising at 51,000 feet, and a the cabins use 100% fresh air. So, as I write this in Boulder, Colorado at 5,288 feet, Gulfstream's passengers will ride at a lower altitude - even though they're at FL510. Nice.

The Flight Deck

Both the G500 and G600 feature Gulfstream's new Symmetry Flight Deck. Each aircraft features 10 integrated touch screens, a Synthetic Vision Primary Flight Display System, and a Heads-Up Display II.

Gulfstream G650 (PlaneView II) vs G600 (Symmetry) Flight Deck

But, the best feature has nothing to do with the screens - the G500 and G600 feature Gulfstream's new Active Control Sidesticks (ACS). The left and right-seat sidesticks are electronically linked, so each pilot can see - and feel - the other pilot's control inputs. While positive exchange of flight controls is a must in any cockpit, this system is truly unique - and an amazing way to improve cockpit awareness.

Gulfstream G600 Flight Deck


Both the G500 and G600 feature Pratt & Whitney Canada's new PW800 series engine - with 15,144 pounds of thrust on the G500 and 15,680 pounds of thrust on the G600.

When Can You Get One?

While an operating G500 taxied up to the press conference today, you'll have to wait a few years to fly one. Gulfstream anticipates G500 FAA and EASA type certification in 2015, with deliveries beginning in 2018. The G600 should follow 12 to 18 months behind, entering service in 2019.

Want to fly one? Better start networking now - launch customers are Qatar Airways and Flexjet.

In the mean time, here are some more pictures...

Gulfstream G500

Gulfstream G500

Gulfstream G500

Gulfstream G600

Gulfstream G600

Gulfstream G600

Head on over to Gulfstream's page and check them out yourself!

Aleks Udris

Aleks is a Boldmethod co-founder and technical director. He's worked in safety and operations in the airline industry, and was a flight instructor and course manager for the University of North Dakota. You can reach him at

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