Sit back, relax. It's a Gulfstream G150
Gulfstream is well-known name and almost a symbol of private executive jets. If you want a jet for personal use there is handful of manufacturers and Gulfstream is one of the best brands among them.
The success of Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, founded in 1958 and a subsidiary of General Dynamics, best describes the fact that more than 25 percent of Fortune 500 companies have one of Gulfstream models. Gulfstream found its place in private, government and corporate environment, and we'll take a look at mid-size G150.
The birth of Gulfstream G150 is tangled story. Company already had G100, the plane with fantastic dispatch reliability of 99.8 percent and business people loved its speed. But, the time has changed and it was no longer enough to have good cruising capabilities with small cabin for passenger. The executive demanded larger, more comfortable interior so in 2002 Gulfstream decided to design the successor to G100. And now the story becomes a little bit complicated.
Israel Aircraft Industries produced a series of aircrafts named Astra. The production began in 1985, five years later a new model, Astra SP, was introduced, and in 1996 Astra SPX saw the daylight. Then General Dynamics formed a joint-venture with Israelis named Galaxy Aerospace, and changed name SPX into G150. Thus, G150 may not be called a simply improved G100, it's a new airplane.
Following the need of its customers, Gulfstream at first focused on interior. The made a larger cabin recognizable by its almost squared shape that has more space than its competitors thanks to that particular form. Thus, while overall length of G150 is 17.3 meters, the length of the cabin is 5.4 meters, and height 1.75 meters which is very impressive for a mid-size jet. And while we are talking about numbers let us continue with some technical data. Gulfstream G150 can take four passengers and crew of two 5,467 km away. It will do that at speed of up to 850 km/h. For takeoff it need 1,524 meters, about half of that for landing (878 m), and between those two points it will cruise at maximum altitude of 45,000 ft.
Those characteristics are very good, but the interior was the primary reason for creation of G150 so let us look inside. For your G150 you can order one of three cabin configurations, "Executive 6", "Universal 7" or "Hallmark 8". Executive 6 is designed for maximum comfort, it has club-four seating forward and two individual seats forward of the closet section. Universal 7 is as comfortable as the Executive, but by replacing a club chair with a two-place divan, so the interior can now accommodate an additional passenger.
The aft cabin serves as a meeting and dining space, and the forward cabin is suitable for relaxed conversation. Hallmark 8 is designed for maximum passenger capacity. That is the configuration for eight passengers. The aft four-club chair offers lot of space for meetings and dining, and the forward divan for two and single chair provide additional seating. The oval windows increase the spaciousness and provide breathtaking views of clouds passing nearby.
As you would expect from well-know executive jet, Gulfstream G150 is built with excellent craftsmanship in mind, and with additional touches of wisdom. You can choose from a selection of highest quality leathers, fabrics, wood veneers and wool carpeting. And touches of wisdom? There is the air system that gives 100 percent fresh air because of which you really have a feeling of flying among the clouds, and from the health point of view that system is much better that systems that use recirculated air.
Gulfstream G150 is designed very well, manufactured following the highest standards, and its price of 12 million dollars is good bang for the buck. And if you have some weird idea that something is missing, ask for it. You'll get it, but even "of the shelf" G150 is an excellent private jet. ■