Gulfstream has selected GKN Aerospace to supply the upper and lower wing skins for its new large-cabin, long-range business jet duo, the G500 and G600.
The award marks another major step in the UK-headquartered company’s strategy to increase its presence in the business jet market.
GKN already supplies skins for the G550’s wings, and says it aims to “foster and grow its relationship with Gulfstream for the long term”.
The G500 and G600 upper wing skins are constructed in a single piece, thus eliminating fasteners and joints and consequently lowering weight and reducing maintenance, says GKN. The lower wing skins are comprised of several panels and incorporate a number of complex design features, it adds.
All the skins will be manufactured at GKN Aerospace’s advanced machined structures facility in Wellington, Kansas.
The G500 and G600 were unveiled last October and are positioned at the top end of Gulfstream’s eight-strong product line, between theG450, G550 and ultra-long-range G650.
The 5,000nm (9,260km)-range G500 will be first to market, with certification and service entry planned for 2017 and 2018 respectively. Gulfstream says the first test aircraft, T1, “has completed ground vibration testing and structural mode interaction testing in preparation for its first flight this year”. The other G500 flight test aircraft, T2, T3 and T4, are in various stages of production, it adds.
The G600 flight test programme will commence 12-18 months after the G500, with entry-into-service for the 6,200nm-range aircraft scheduled for 2019.