10 Hr Test Flights


How can a test flight be this long, why would this be?



I believe this belongs in the Notable Activity forum.


Any number of reasons.
Gulfstream has a completion center and maintenance facility in KLGB so seeing something like that does not surprise me at all.


G4Driver, any thoughts specifically as to why they would do such a long flight round-robin like that? Is there a break-in period for new aircraft? It appears to be a brand-new aircraft, it’s a 2006 model year G550 and it’s still registered to Gulfstream Aerospace. The other two can be explained away as demo flights, but that last one is quite extreme.


The boss and his secretary were on board and…


Perhaps endurance testing? The route is around 4500NM, which would give them a good idea of it’s range and high-altitude performance.




I don’t think they’d need 10 hours!


They would if it’s done right.


I’ve worked (and currently working) in various test labs around Gulfstream, and with others in flight test. The really long flights are generally cold-soaks, where they need to chill down the aircraft and the fuel, and get the temperatures stabilized, in order to take measurements.

In this case, the airplane probably was just fitted with its interior before going to the customer, and I’m betting they were doing a combination of cold-soak and inflight test of all the amenities (satcom, internet, entertainment, etc.).

My roommate was on a flight one time that flew up over the Great Lakes, then over Seattle, then down over the Grand canyon, then back (or something like that) on a G550. They were doing cabin temperature and noise surveys.

I went on one once; it ran about seven hours and we shot 27 cat II approaches, split between HSV, CHA, and SAV.


Cool, thanks for the info, and welcome to the forums.
10 hours is still a damn long time. Pilots probably took breaks “testing” the comfort of the cabin seats and checking their eyelids for holes.
I did a 5.5 hour run from Manchester, NH to Key West without getting up, that was pretty terrible.


My guess is that it was an FAA proving flight for a startup 135 operation.


Look at icebrain’s posting above.


so…that doesn’t mean that is what the flight was for. it was just a possibility.

I know that these flights have to be done for a 135 charter company to get its certificate and this is the perfect plane for such a company.

it could also have been some kind of intro flight for the owner’s pilots to meet insurance…


The reason I don’t think it was a 135 certificate flight is because it seems like it would be logical for them to do 2 or 3 shorter flights rather than 1 very long flight. I don’t think an inspector from the FAA would want to endure that long of a flight.


Nope, not necesarily. If they have a rush on the approval, they will do it in one trip. Happens alot. And who cares anyway? I was just offering it as a possibility.