astra SPX or GIII


#1

hi thr…

m currently flying beech-craft B200 and in near future i will be asked by my company to choose any one of the two A/C’s (Astra SPX G100[glass cockpit]] or GIII)

i require ur advice which one i should go for… and the reason, why do u suggest.

PS- my first post… mercy.


#2

I’ve flown the Astra SP and the G2. They are quite a bit different aircraft, which to choose depends on what your companies needs are. If you could give us a short description of the flying you will be doing it would help, number of passengers, distance normally flown, and airport size.
The Gulfstreams are pretty good short field aircraft but run into problems with wingspan and weight at some airports. Stage 3 hushkits are something to consider too.

John


#3

flying time would be 5 hours for sure every time.
passengers would be max 2
will be operating in and out Delhi international ‘‘VIDP’’, India.
and i dont think we would be having problem with wingspan coz will be in n out only on few selected airfields which are internationals… .


#4

Keep in mind the SPX cannot fly across the Middle East including Dubai, it would have to be a G100 to be approved.
Both will go 5 hours with 2 pax, no problem there. The speed might favor the G3, but not by much unless your trip length approaches the limit of the SPX. Long range cruise is about .70, the G3 is about .77 Mach, it varies with weight, temperature and altitude. Normal cruise for both is around .78 to .80. The G3 has quite a bit more range.
The passengers will LOVE the G3, the Astra cabin gets a little small after a few hours.
There is no comparison to operating cost, the SPX wins that battle by a lot. One thing that is hard to find information on is that the Rolls Royce engines have a calendar inspection requirement in addition to the hourly schedule. Maximum of 10 years from the last overhaul to the mid-life then another 10 years maximum to the next overhaul, so if you are not flying a lot the hourly cost goes way up. Both engines are very reliable. If you get the G3 it would pay to hire an experienced Gulfstream mechanic. With an airplane that large, and old, having your own mechanic available will offset his costs over the long run.

If you have any other questions there are a couple of us with experience in the SPX and the Gulfstreams here.

John


#5

John I get the impression his company has both the Astra and the GIII, he’s trying to decide which to upgrade to as a pilot.


#6

ah, you might be right.
In that case upgrade to the simpler one first. Neither would be considered an entry level jet but the Astra would be my choice. The Gulfstream’s have fairly complicated backup’s to the backup systems, much easier to learn if you step up from a mid size jet rather than a King Air.


#7

Keep in mind w/ a GIII in certain airports require hush kits to even land there. Some of those restrictions can be based on what hour of the day it is and others wont let you land unless you have a stage 2,3, or 4 hush kit.

But having worked on G 2,3,4,5’s for years i would say go w/ the GIII.


#8

I had about 2000 hrs of King Air time, mostly BE-200, when I went to Initial Training for my first jet Type Rating, which was a G-IV. It was probably the hardest aviation training experience I ever had, but I did pass my Type Rating ride. The biggest factors for me that made it difficult were that I had no previous jet time and no “crew” time/experience - all of my flying (including my turbo-prop flying) had been as a Single Pilot PIC - and that the Gulfstreams are fairly complex aircraft (systems), compared to a lot of other business jets. I got all the study material for the G-IV months ahead of time, and studied it diligently before going to my Initial Training Class… it was still hard, there’s only so much you can get out of a book! I took four extra sim sessions (above the normal “allottment”) before taking my Type Ride, because I did not feel comfortable up until that point (though my Instructors kept saying “you’re ready” even before that). The “turning point” in my training was when I stopped trying to do every thing by myself and learned to “use” the co-pilot effectively. I mention all this just as sort of support for my contention that, in retrospect, a “simpler” jet is probably better for someone’s first jet Type Rating… but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it - I did. (I know nothing about Astras, no idea how complex they are.)

The other factors you might want to consider are: (1) Which one pays more? And (2) “Bigger airplane” = “Bigger Suitcase”… i.e. in a lot of operations, you will be away from home longer on the bigger airplanes than the smaller airplanes (which have less range).