When you look at the Gulfstream G280, the first thing you’re likely to notice is the aircraft’s sleek lines and the winglets, turned upward at the very edges of the wingtips, that give it such an elegant appearance. The aircraft looks almost graceful, even when it’s just sitting on the tarmac. Just imagine what it looks like when it’s in its element. If you see it, you’re likely to fall in love with it. In turn, it would only stand to reason that you would want to learn more about it. Below are 10 things that might surprise you just a little.
1. It’s built in Israel
Although the aircraft can be found virtually all over the world, it isn’t built in any other country. This surprises a lot of people, especially when they see an aircraft that’s registered in the United States. Most people assume that because Gulfstream is an American company, that’s where the aircraft is built but that isn’t the case.
2. It’s not even built by Gulfstream
The aircraft carries the Gulfstream name, without a doubt. However, it’s actually built by a company called IAI, under contract for Gulfstream Corporation. When the company decided to build a new business jet, they also decided that it would be more cost-effective if they contracted with another company. IAI has been building them now for about six years.
3. Development took time
As is the case with most aircraft, it took a certain amount of time to develop this business jet and make sure all of the kinks had been worked out. The aircraft first took to the skies in 2009 but the first delivery wasn’t made until three years later.
4. It was originally named the G250
The company changed the name of the aircraft after it had already begun test flights because it discovered that some of the countries it intended to sell to didn’t like the number “250.” They were afraid that maintaining that name would hurt sales, so they changed it to the G280.
5. It incorporates a glass cockpit
This is something the military has used for quite some time. It allows pilots to see critical information without being forced to look down at each individual instrument. This helps them maintain visual awareness and get the critical reading they need from the instruments.
6. The wings are designed for cold-weather flight
The leading edges of the wings are heated, meaning the aircraft can more safely fly in cold weather during precipitation. Without these heated leading edges, the aircraft would have to undergo a rapid de-icing procedure and then take off quickly before the ice could form again, assuming that it could get above the weather in the first place.
7. It’s one of the most aerodynamic business jets in operation
Thanks in large part to the wing design that incorporates winglets, this is an extremely aerodynamic airplane. It’s capable of superior performance because there is less resistance on the aircraft while it’s in flight.
8. It flies at a high rate of speed
Although there are faster business jets out there, this one is definitely no slouch. It’s capable of achieving a top speed of Mach 0.8, which is not quite fast enough to equal the speed of sound. However, it’s not that far off, as it flies at just a little over three quarters the speed of sound. This is fast enough to put it in rare company as far as business jets are concerned.
9. It cruises high up in the sky
This airplane cruises at an altitude of 43,000 feet, which is higher than most commercial airliners. In fact, the majority of the airlines fly the planes at 30,000 to 35,000 feet. Therefore, the Gulfstream typically flies about 8,000 feet higher. Once again, this is due to its extremely aerodynamic design.
10. It offers both size and convenience
This is a relatively large business jet, one that can seat up to 10 passengers. While bigger jets exist, this one also offers some convenience, as it only requires a crew of two. Larger aircraft usually require a crew of four. That makes this one more versatile than most of the aircraft in its class.