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20 Things You didn't Know about Gulfstream Aerospace

Gulfstream Aerospace is an American manufacturer of airplanes that has its headquarters in Savannah in the state of Georgia. Primarily, it is famous for making airplanes that are intended for business use, though it is interesting to note that some of them can be found in the military forces of various countries as well. So far, Gulfstream Aerospace has managed to sell more than 2,000 of its airplanes to a wide range of buyers since its initial founding, which says much about the extent of its success. Nowadays, Gulfstream Aerospace continues to be a successful business in its chosen field, as shown by the fact that it continues to churn out airplanes for its customers while also working on various innovations and inventions for the purpose of making its products that much better for those same parties. Here are 20 things that you may or may not have known about Gulfstream Aerospace:

1. It Is a Subsidiary

Gulfstream Aerospace is a subsidiary. This means that it is owned by another company, which in its case, would be General Dynamics. For those who are unfamiliar with that particular name, General Dynamics is one of the biggest aerospace and defense corporations that can be found in the entire world. Moreover, it is interesting to note that Gulfstream Aerospace is what is called a wholly owned subsidiary, meaning that 100 percent of its shares are owned by its parent company.

2. Started Up Under Grumman

That which would become Gulfstream Aerospace started up under Grumman, which was a U.S.-based corporation that specialized in the manufacturing of airplanes for civilian use as well as military use. In fact, people who are familiar with the airplane industry should be familiar with its name to some extent, seeing as how it winded up merging with Northrop to create what is now called Northrop Grumman. As a result, while Grumman no longer exists, its successor remains a very important player in the defense industry as well as other industries.

3. Came Into Existence Because of First Business Airplane

In the 1950s, Grumman created what would become the first airplane intended for business use and nothing but business use, which was rather interesting considering that it specialized in military airplanes even in those times. Regardless, the resulting airplane was the Grumman Gulfstream I, which was capable of seating a total of 12 passengers. As it turned out, Grumman's choice to create a business airplane turned out to be a fortuitous one, as shown by the fact that the Grumman Gulfstream I was so successful that it prompted it to start working on a successor.

4. The Civilian Segment Was Separated From the Military Segment

In fact, the Grumman Gulfstream I and its follow-up proved to be so successful that Grumman made a choice to separate its civilian segment from its military segment, which was necessary because it believed that both segments would be able to operate in a more effective and more efficient manner on their own. As a result, the operations used to produce those first airplanes as well as its expected successors were relocated from their previous home. The cost of which said much about Grumman's belief about their future prospects.

5. The New Home Was Savannah

The new home of Grumman's civilian segment was Savannah, which can be found in the state of Georgia. This choice was made based on a number of factors. For example, Savannah had a plentiful source of educated labor, which was important when the civilian segment was going to have to rely on the locals for much of its labor needs. Furthermore, Savannah had plenty of room to accommodate its expected expansion, which was not necessarily so readily available in other markets that could meet the civilian segment's labor needs.

6. Sold to American Jet Industries

Later, Grumman made a choice to sell the Gulfstream family of aircraft as well as its facilities in Savannah to American Jet Industries, which was headed up by a businessman named Allen Paulson. As a result, Paulson became both the CEO and the president of the company that was formed through this sale, which became known as Gulfstream American. It was under Paulson that Gulfstream American went on to create the Gulfstream III, which was a follow-up to the Gulfstream II that went on to achieve a number of impressive firsts for its time. One excellent example was how it became the first business jet to fly over both the North Pole and the South Pole.

7. Had a Name Change in 1982

In 1982, the name of Gulfstream American was changed to Gulfstream Aerospace, which was intended to reflect its new status as an international company. After all, Gulfstream Aerospace had become a company with 2,500 people working at its facilities in Savannah, producing airplanes for buyers in not just the United States but also other countries situated throughout the rest of the world. Moreover, it was at around this time that the leadership of Gulfstream Aerospace made a choice to offer shares of its ownership to public investors.

8. Was Owned By Chrysler For a Time

For a short period of time, Gulfstream Aerospace was owned by Chrysler. In short, what happened was that Chrysler bought out the corporation in 1985, which was part of its strategic choice to seek diversification in high-tech fields. With that said, it is clear that the purchase didn't work out for Chrysler, seeing as how it made the choice to sell Gulfstream Aerospace in 1989. At that time, Paulson teamed up with a private equity firm to buy back the corporation that he had sold, thus returning him to its head.

9. Produced the First Ultra-Long-Range Business Jet

It is interesting to note that Gulfstream Aerospace can claim the distinction of having produced what was the first business jet that was considered to be ultra-long-range in function. For those who are curious, this was the Gulfstream V, which was introduced in 1995. Said airplane was capable of 6,500 nautical miles, which works out to about 12,000 kilometers. Suffice to say that the increasing globalization of the 1990s made the Gulfstream V an excellent example of when a product is introduced to the market at the right time to capitalize on the latest trends.

10. Bought Out K-C Aviation

Speaking of the 1990s, it is interesting to note that Gulfstream Aerospace bought out K-C Aviation in this same period of time. K-C Aviation started up because Kimberly-Clark started offering air transportation from its headquarters in Neenah in the state of Wisconsin to its facilities situated elsewhere in the United States. In fact, it should be mentioned that K-C Aviation was in a real sense a predecessor to Midwest Express, which was a U.S. airline that operated throughout much of the country but was eventually bought out before being merged into Frontier Airlines.

11. Bought Out By General Dynamics

Gulfstream Aerospace being bought out by General Dynamics happened in the late 1990s. On the whole, said occurrence brought a fair amount of benefit for Gulfstream Aerospace, seeing as how it was followed by investment into its operations. One excellent example was the opening of further facilities for the subsidiary, which were situated in Savannah as well.

12. Had a Serious Setback in 2011

Over the course of its existence, Gulfstream Aerospace has encountered a number of setbacks. For example, 2011 saw the crash of a G650 business jet during testing, which resulted in the deaths of its test pilots as well as the airplane engineers. What happened was that one of the airplane's wingtips hit the ground while it was simulating an engine failure, thus resulting in a fire. The investigation into said occurrence was filled with further complications for Gulfstream Aerospace, as shown by how the NTSB actually accused it of withholding information during the process. Something that was a rather serious charge to say the least.

13. Was Working On a Supersonic Business Jet At One Point in Time

At one point in time, Gulfstream Aerospace was working on a supersonic business jet in cooperation with the Russian Sukhoi. However, the project failed because the demand for supersonic business jets just wasn't there, which is why Gulfstream Aerospace winded up cancelling its involvement in the joint project. Meanwhile, it is said that Sukhoi continued with the project on its own for some time, but in the end, a lack of funding means that it stopped developing the project as well. Currently, there are various entities still interested in the concept of supersonic business jet, but so long as the sonic boom remains a serious concern, it seems probable that their widespread adoption won't be happening.

14. Has a Hemi-Anechoic Chamber

Gulfstream Aerospace's R&D has a hemi-anechoic chamber, which is the one example that can be found when it comes to business jets. For those who are curious, an anechoic chamber refers to a space that was created with the intent of absorbing the reflection of either sound waves or electromagnetic waves, which is useful in a wide range of contexts. This can be seen in how microwave ovens are actually great examples of anechoic chambers. With that said, a hemi-anechoic chamber foregoes the absorbent properties for its floor, which explains the hemi in its name.

15. Different Airplanes Are Completed in Different Places

Nowadays, Gulfstream Aerospace's facilities are no longer situated in a single place. Instead, it has facilities situated in a number of locations, which are responsible for a number of tasks. For example, its facilities in Savannah are still responsible for making its large airplanes as well as its ultra-large airplanes. Meanwhile, its facilities in Dallas are responsible for its midcabin airplanes. Similarly, Gulfstream Aerospace's other facilities in other places have their particular responsibilities, which makes sense for much the same reasons that Grumman relocated its operations in the first place.

16. Has Multiple Showrooms

It is interesting to note that Gulfstream Aerospace actually has multiple showrooms, which can be found in a number of places for the convenience of its potential customers. Having these showrooms is important because the company offers different configurations for its airplanes, meaning that they are a useful way for interested parties to see what their interiors will be like once they have been completed to their satisfaction. For that matter, having something tangible can make a product seem real in a way that purely textual descriptions cannot, which makes showrooms very useful for marketing purposes for a wide range of businesses out there.

17. Has Service Centers

Naturally, Gulfstream Aerospace has service centers to provide its customers with a wide range of support services for their products. Since the company sells to an international clientele, it should come as no surprise to learn that it has a total of 11 service centers situated on no fewer than four continents. Each service center is capable of performing everything from the routine maintenance needed to maximize an airplane's useful lifespan to making extensive modifications to its actual structure.

18. Has Service Teams

With that said, Gulfstream Aerospace also has service teams that it can send out to its customers when they need support services but can't actually bring the airplanes in to one of the service centers for whatever reason. Naturally, a service team that can travel from place to place can't provide the same range of services as a service center. However, considering their support vehicles, they are nonetheless capable of providing a remarkable amount of support nonetheless.

19. Has a Sustainability Program

Gulfstream Aerospace is one of the countless companies out there with a sustainability program. In its case, its sustainability program exists for much the same reasons as its counterparts. One example is the intent to preserve limited resources for the use of future generations, while another example is the need to protect its stakeholders as well as the communities in which they live.

20. Believes in Corporate Social Responsibility

Besides its sustainability program, Gulfstream Aerospace is interested in corporate social responsibility in other ways as well, as shown by its investment in various nonprofit organizations. This is something that can be seen in other companies as well, which are often motivated by the practical benefits of positive PR.

Garrett Parker

Written by Garrett Parker

Garrett by trade is a personal finance freelance writer and journalist. With over 10 years experience he's covered businesses, CEOs, and investments. However he does like to take on other topics involving some of his personal interests like automobiles, future technologies, and anything else that could change the world.

Read more posts by Garrett Parker

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