Aircraft Review: Gulfstream G650 & G650ER

Thomas W. Mitchell Executive Vice President
Gulfstream-G650-jet

When Gulfstream publicly unveiled the G650 on March 13, 2008, it was touted by company executives and industry publications as the largest, fastest and most expensive business jet. What most captured the public’s attention, however, was its outstanding range performance: At 7,000 nautical miles, the G650 offered the longest range in the market at that point in time. Gulfstream upped the ante again on May 18, 2014 by introducing the G650ER, which added another 500 nm to the G650’s range.

In the years since, the G650ER has become highly respected among the ultra-long-range business jet aircraft market; the aircraft continues to boast a years-long wait list.

In this flight review, we’ll take a closer look at the Gulfstream G650 — the G650ER, specifically — including its technical specifications, design options, investment costs and more.

Table of Contents

The Gulfstream G650ER at a Glance

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Maximum Range 7,500 nm / 13,890 km (650ER)
Top Speed 0.925 Mach / 616.733 KTAs / 1142.19 km/h
Typical Cruise Speed 0.90 Mach / 600.065 KTAs / 1111.32 km/h
Maximum Altitude 51,000 ft / 14,545 m
Cabin Dimensions
Length 47 ft / 14.33 m
Height 6 ft 3 in / 1.91 m
Exterior Dimensions
Length 99 ft 8 in / 30.42 m
Wingspan 99 ft 7 in / 30.39 m
Height 25 ft 8 in / 7.86 m
Passengers 11–18

Cockpit Design

g650-cockpit

Photo Credit: Diversified Aviation Services

The cockpit of the Gulfstream G650ER is equipped with a PlaneView II flight deck based on Honeywell Primus Epic avionics. Features such as the Enhanced Vision System, which projects infrared images onto the pilot’s Head-Up Display, and the Synthetic Vision-Primary Flight Display, which uses terrain data to create a digital view of the plane’s surroundings in low-visibility conditions, standard with the G650ER. The G650ER’s large windows — both in the cockpit and throughout the rest of the aircraft — allow for panoramic views and greater visibility, and pilots are able to navigate long-haul flights in comfort thanks to the G650ER’s shearling-lined and ergonomically designed seats.

Cabin Design

The Gulfstream G650ER’s cabin interior offers multiple cabin configurations, pictured below. For the purposes of this review, we’ll focus on the standard configuration, shown in Figure 1, which includes a forward galley and crew compartment and is divided into three separate living areas: the forward cabin, the mid cabin and the aft cabin.

forward-gallery-with-crew-compartment

Figure 1 — Forward Galley with Crew Compartment

forward-gallery-with-4-living-areas

Figure 2 — Forward Galley with 4 Living Areas

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Figure 3 — Aft Galley with Crew Compartment

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Figure 4 — Aft Galley

Photo Credit: Gulfstream

According to the G650ER standard cabin configuration, travelers will pass the crew compartment and galley before entering the forward cabin. The crew compartment consists of a dedicated full-size rest area with slide-out wall and flat-bed leather seat, enabling crew members to remain rested and refreshed for long-haul flights; a forward lavatory sits opposite. The full-service galley, which combines form and function, is fitted with marble countertops, stainless steel appliances and a full-size kitchen sink.

forward-cabin

Photo Credit: Diversified Aviation Services

The forward cabin offers seating for four in a double club configuration. Each club chair is handcrafted, leather-upholstered and positioned next to a large window, allowing for panoramic views. These single seats can be converted into two beds for added comfort and flexibility.

Passing into the mid cabin, travelers will enter the second living area, which features a four-place conference grouping, making it easy for travelers to maximize travel time by hosting important meetings while en route to their final destination. The mid cabin also includes a credenza with a fold-out HD monitor display for additional storage.

aft-cabin

Photo Credit: The Points Guy

The aft cabin is furnished with two club seats and a divan, the latter of which can be reconfigured as a twin bed. The aft cabin can be closed off from the forward and mid cabins via a sliding door, allowing for additional privacy and making it the ideal space for travelers to get some much-needed rest. Beyond the aft cabin sits a second, more spacious lavatory, featuring a large mirror, full-sized sink, ample storage space, marble countertops and wood detailing. Although the G650ER’s standard configuration does not include a stand-up shower, it is offered as an option to owners.

g650-baggage-area

Photo Credit: Diversified Aviation Services

Finally, in the rear of the plane is the baggage area, which can generally accommodate the needs of any trip.

As with all the Gulfstream models, G650 buyers have access to Gulfstream’s in-house Design Center, which includes custom design options from flooring to upholstery. Buyers can choose from a vast selection of pre-approved materials and finishes.

g650-design-center

Photo Credit: Gulfstream

Technology

The Gulfstream G650ER’s technological advancements aren’t limited to just the cockpit — travelers also enjoy a highly functional entertainment system, turning even the longest flight into an enjoyable, immersive experience. Standard cabin entertainment system offerings include:

  • A three-zone audio system
  • Three 26” display screens
  • Mobile app-enabled temperature controls, window shades and lighting
  • Gulfstream PLANECONNECT, which includes Ka-band global in-flight connectivity

Exterior Design

The exterior design of the Gulfstream G650ER is sleek and simple; Gulfstream offers a full spectrum of paint schemes, designs and logos, so buyers can customize their aircraft to their exact specifications.

Acquisition Cost

Given that it is designed for missions of exceptional range and duration, the Gulfstream G650ER sits at the high end of the price range for private aircraft. The current range of Gulfstream’s asking price for a new model G650ER is $60M–$62M.

Given its extensive range and impressive speed, few aircraft can compare to the G650 or the G650ER, with the notable exception of the Bombardier Global 7500. When maximizing range is not required, the Bombardier Global 6500 and Dassault Falcon 8X are comparable aircraft models in terms of cabin space, technology and amenities.

Direct Operating Costs

Note: All direct operating costs listed are estimated; actual expenses will vary based on total annual flight hours.

Fuel 

Approximately $2,143 per hour

Maintenance

Approximately $1,240 per hour

Engine Overhaul 

Approximately $1,203 per hour

Miscellaneous 

Approximately $674 per hour

 Total Direct Costs

Approximately $5,260 per hour

Source: Conklin de Decker

Fixed Costs

Note: All fixed costs listed are estimated; actual expenses will vary based on crew experience and certifications, hangar location, insurance coverage, and so on.

Crew 

Approximately $715,000 (incl. benefits & Flight Attendant)

Crew Training

Approximately $134,800

Hangar

Approximately $123,300

Insurance

Approximately $74,900

Miscellaneous

Approximately $29,531 (excludes refurbishment)

Total Fixed Costs

Approximately $1,077,531

Source: Conklin de Decker

Is a Gulfstream G650ER Right for You?

When evaluating different private aviation options, it’s important that you carefully consider your travel requirements; something as simple as the number of hours you fly in a year or the average length of your trips can have a significant impact on which option is right for you.

The G650ER is Gulfstream’s best-in-class option for travelers who prioritize long-range performance; buyers who do not have such long-range travel requirements but are still interested in acquiring a Gulfstream aircraft are advised to consider other Gulfstream models, such as the G500 or G600.

Despite its size, both the G650 and G650ER are able to travel into and out of most airports with relative ease and efficiency; it is worth noting, though, that a few popular U.S. airports might prevent access for the G650 and G650ER due to their wingspan.

How to Acquire a Gulfstream G650ER

If you’re interested in acquiring a Gulfstream G650 or G650ER, Essex Aviation Group is here to be of assistance. Each member of the Essex team brings decades of aviation experience and a vast network of industry connections to the table, making us the ideal advisory service for private aviation newcomers and veterans alike. We’ve also managed multiple G650 acquisitions, which means we understand what it takes to successfully navigate the acquisition process.

To get started, contact Essex Aviation today.

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Are You Ready to Become the Proud Owner of Your Very Own Business Jet?

The decision whether to purchase a private aircraft is likely one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your life. In order to ensure that you’re fully prepared to make that decision — and to ensure that you get the greatest return on your investment — it’s important that you be aware of everything that actually goes into acquiring, owning and operating your own plane.