Gulfstream G550

Old Feb 5, 12, 9:19 am
  #1  
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Gulfstream G550

I read an article this morning saying that 3M is spending $250 million on new corporate jets. Without getting into the issue as to whether or not they need them, I have a question.

Has anyone been on this kind of jet? The paper says they are top of the line. Was it wonderful?

I've never been on a private jet/corporate jet and I am just curious and nosy.

http://www.startribune.com/business/138671234.html
"..According to documents recently obtained by the Star Tribune, the Maplewood-based conglomerate could spend close to $250 million to replace its fleet of five aircraft, with two planes purchased in 2010 and 2011 and three more planned over the next three years. The purchases include top-of-the-line Gulfstream G550s, with features that include reclining leather seats and couches that fold out into beds...
The planes 3M bought, Gulfstream G550s, are regarded as the gold standard of corporate aircraft and are built for long-range trips. The Gulfstream Aerospace website describes the G550 as "a brawny aircraft with an international reach."
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Old Feb 5, 12, 10:08 am
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A coworker of mine used to sell NetJets memberships. He said that the bigger corporate jets (the 737-equivalents) are downright luxurious, while the smaller ones feel very cramped.

The main value add, according to him, is convenience. No waiting in airports, no TSA nonsense, just fly when and where you want.
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Old Feb 5, 12, 10:09 am
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Well the G550 isn't technically "top of the line" anymore since Gulfstream's G650 will soon be in service (they've been taking orders on the G650 for several years now and the order book is now pushed out to 2017-2018). G650 will have a larger cabin, longer range and cruise faster (up to Mach 0.925) than the G550.

But yes flying large-cabin/ultra-long-range business jets is quite an experience. It is wonderful.

A normal G550 in the hands of a major corporation won't have its planes outfitted in over-the-top luxury since these planes are meant to be flying offices and productivity enablers but nevertheless still THE way to fly (unless of course you are one level below the C-level travel authorizer and going on the same trip - in that case you want to fly commercial first class instead of sharing a still smallish private tube with your boss for 12 hours - 12 hour flights on bizjets leave plenty of time for the CEO/CFO to give you more work!)

If true "luxury" is your measure, the typically equipped G550 flown by a public corporation won't be quite as nice as first class on a top carrier like EK, CX, SQ but the flexibility, privacy, productivity, security, etc. benefits make business jets indispensable to the leaders of multinationals.



Originally Posted by mules View Post
I read an article this morning saying that 3M is spending $250 million on new corporate jets. Without getting into the issue as to whether or not they need them, I have a question.

Has anyone been on this kind of jet? The paper says they are top of the line. Was it wonderful?

I've never been on a private jet/corporate jet and I am just curious and nosy.

http://www.startribune.com/business/138671234.html
"..According to documents recently obtained by the Star Tribune, the Maplewood-based conglomerate could spend close to $250 million to replace its fleet of five aircraft, with two planes purchased in 2010 and 2011 and three more planned over the next three years. The purchases include top-of-the-line Gulfstream G550s, with features that include reclining leather seats and couches that fold out into beds...
The planes 3M bought, Gulfstream G550s, are regarded as the gold standard of corporate aircraft and are built for long-range trips. The Gulfstream Aerospace website describes the G550 as "a brawny aircraft with an international reach."
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Old Feb 5, 12, 11:51 am
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Originally Posted by mules View Post
I've never been on a private jet/corporate jet and I am just curious and nosy.
A bunch of G550 pictures:
http://www.airliners.net/photo/Untit...V-SP/1589365/L
http://www.airliners.net/photo/Gulfs...V-SP/1299906/L
http://www.airliners.net/photo/Untit...rospace-G-V-SP
http://www.airliners.net/photo/Gulfs...V-SP/1048075/L

G550 is narrow and cramped compared to Bombardier Global Express and Dassault Falcon 7X.
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Old Feb 5, 12, 12:23 pm
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I've been on Gulfstreams and Lears (corporate charters) and I'll take the front cabin of a 747 any day. I've never flown a BBJ or similar mainline jet corporate conversion though.
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Old Feb 7, 12, 12:03 pm
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I am curious -- can you take your nice luxury car on one of these jets? Say a Bentley (I guess a 10 000lbs Knight XV would be a bit too much but I think Bentleys are only 5000 lbs or so).
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Old Feb 7, 12, 12:11 pm
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BearX220 et al, are any of the sofas (dont they pull out?) comfortable?

ive only seen a couple business jets with bedrooms being advertised for charter

since this is FT, IIRC one was actually an MD80

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Feb 8, 12 at 9:38 pm
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Old Feb 7, 12, 12:16 pm
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What are they doing with the old jets?

I'll take one of those...
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Old Feb 7, 12, 12:47 pm
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I'd take a flight on a G550 on almost any route over almost any other plane. As was mentioned before, their is a lot more to it than the actual plane itself.
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Old Feb 7, 12, 12:54 pm
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Originally Posted by jsmeeker View Post
I'd take a flight on a G550 on almost any route over almost any other plane. As was mentioned before, their is a lot more to it than the actual plane itself.
beds though..
first it was lieflat, then flatbed, then suite, then SQ A380 suite double bed

also showers in EK A380 F (along with suites)
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Old Feb 7, 12, 12:57 pm
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Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post
beds though..

first it was lieflat, then flatbed, then suite, then SQ suite double bed
A sweet suite on a very long haul flight would be the only way I would fly commercial over a top end long range biz jet.
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Old Feb 7, 12, 1:01 pm
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Originally Posted by jsmeeker View Post
A sweet suite on a very long haul flight would be the only way I would fly commercial over a top end long range biz jet.
almost my exact thoughts - id say overnight in great flatbed
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Old Feb 7, 12, 6:58 pm
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Originally Posted by jsmeeker View Post
A sweet suite on a very long haul flight would be the only way I would fly commercial over a top end long range biz jet.
Depends on how many people are on the plane.

I flew a G IV from ISP-BSL and then BSL-SNN-ISP a few years back. There were 12 or 13 of us on board, I think. It was hardly luxurious when it was that crowded.

It was nice and with 4-6 people it would have been VERY nice, but when full it was just OK.
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Old Feb 8, 12, 11:33 am
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Originally Posted by chx1975 View Post
I am curious -- can you take your nice luxury car on one of these jets? Say a Bentley (I guess a 10 000lbs Knight XV would be a bit too much but I think Bentleys are only 5000 lbs or so).
Unfortunately not. Too heavy, too bulky, and requires too large a cargo door. You'd need a specially converted airliner or cargo aircraft. Something like this may fit your needs :

http://www.luxuo.com/wp-content/uplo...rivate-jet.jpg
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Old Feb 8, 12, 7:09 pm
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It does depend on the configuration, but some or most of NetJets G-550s have a pilot rest compartment for when they do TATL flights. The G-550 even has two lavs, which for a private jet is pretty unheard of until you get into the really big private aircraft like BBJs and A319 Execs.

I've been in the cabin of several private aircraft, never flown in one yet, but I'd have to say that Learjets are definitely overrated. They look sexy, but their cabin is pretty short (vertically) and you really have to bend over to move around so getting to the rear of the cabin can be a pain.
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