Mark Burns, President, Gulfstream Aerospace Company

AirInsight:

Thanks for being with us today, Mark. Gulfstream has had great success with the G650 but is facing new competition with the recently certified Global 7500.  How do you assess your competitive position and market differentiation at the top end of the business aviation market?

Mark:

We focus on our aircraft and exceeding the expectations of our customers. The G650 and G650ER are in-service aircraft with proven speed and range capabilities. More than 320 G650G650ER aircraft are in service and consistently demonstrating their real-world performance. The G650ER, for example, recently flew from New York to Shanghai in just 13 hours and 40 minutes. Throughout the 6,870-nautical-mile/12,723-km flight, the G650ER flew at an average speed of Mach 0.86. Together, the G650 and G650ER have nearly 80 speed records.   

The G650ER, unlike any competitor (certified or planned), provides 1,000 nautical miles more high-speed range utility. It also provides 500 nm more range at Mach 0.85 and 1,500 nm more range at Mach 0.90 out of high-demand, weight-restricted airports, including Teterboro. That saves operators at least 30 minutes on long-range flights.

The G650 and G650ER is second to none, with abundant natural light; low cabin altitudes; quiet cabin sound levels thanks to cabin materials designed and tested in Gulfstream’s Acoustic Test Facility; 100 percent fresh air and the intuitive Gulfstream Cabin Management System. 

AirInsight:

The G500 and G600 programs appear to be moving forward like clockwork, with the G500 already certified and scheduled to enter service this year, followed shortly by the G600.  Has the bankruptcy of Nordam, your nacelle supplier, had an adverse impact on production schedules, and what risk mitigation plans are in place.

Mark:

We are pleased with the agreement we have reached with NORDAM, one that was recently cleared in the courts. With this agreement, we now oversee production for the nacelles for our all-new G500 and G600. Gulfstream has a 60-year history of and product excellence that will serve our customers well as we assume responsibility for nacelle production. The manufacturing of this component is firmly in our wheelhouse, especially since we manufacture the wings and empennages for these aircraft. 

The G500 was certified in July 2018 and entered service in September, with serial deliveries under way. We anticipate certifying the G600 in 2018 and delivering the aircraft to customers in 2019.

AirInsight:

The Pratt & Whitney Canada engines on the G500/600 are the first divergence from Rolls Royce for engines since Gulfstream’s inception.  What caused Gulfstream to open up the competition to other engine manufacturers, and why was the PW800 series chosen to power the G500/600?  

Mark:

We used a competitive bid process for the engines on the G500 and G600. That evaluation revealed that the P&WC 800 series engine was the best overall selection for these particular aircraft. It is important to note that we maintain a strong 50-plus year relationship with Rolls-Royce and are proud to have their engines on the G450, G550, G650, and G650ER.

AirInsight:

With the recent focus on larger intercontinental business jets, does Gulfstream also plan to its presence in the super mid-sized market with a potential replacement for the G280, which has shown remarkable longevity and popularity?

Mark:

The G280 is a best-in-class aircraft. We’re seeing tremendous demand from customers and an increasing level of interest from potential customers. In fact, 2017 proved to be our strongest year for G280 sales. Today, more than 145 G280s are in service with more than 147,000 flight hours. The G280 is a unique aircraft, because it offers the best performance in its class (3,600 nautical miles of range, a high-speed cruise of Mach 0.84 and steep-approach certification) while also incorporating large-cabin capabilities into a super-midsized package. This includes auto throttles, auto braking, in-flight access to baggage, Ka-band, a vacuum lav and nearly 65 city-pair speed records.

AirInsight:

Service and support are an important part of success in business aviation, and “big data” is changing the way OEMs are interacting with their customers.  How is Gulfstream continuing to innovate in customer support?

Mark:

One way we’re innovating in support is a new feature called Aircraft Ownership Service (AOS). Based on customer feedback, we developed a comprehensive portfolio of services that can be tailored to any aircraft owner or operator, regardless of size or mission profile. AOS lowers the potential barriers to entry for a new operator, while improving efficiency and effectiveness for existing operators. Our customers want flexible, turnkey solutions, and we believe AOS meets that need. 

We’re also taking a different approach in terms of data. For example, PlaneConnect Health and Trend Monitoring (a step up from straight PlaneConnect) gives us the ability to forecast and predict trends based on information captured on the aircraft.

AirInsight:

Thanks for taking the time to be with us.

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