Are you thinking of buying a Gulfstream G550 for your private business travel or for your aircraft fleet…? Have you researched the price, range, technical aspects, special features, or operating cost of this business jet yet.? Then, let’s familiarize ourselves with this giant bird before you step into an aircraft sale or broker.
The process of buying an aircraft is not that much easier than buying a motor vehicle. A buyer needs a thorough knowledge of every aspect of the aircraft. That means the link between buying and owning an aircraft needs to be understood first. So, to do so, a better analysis of the market price, annual fixed and variable operating costs, and the condition of the aircraft at the time of purchase is vital. This discussion will give you a brief knowledge of different aspects before buying a Gulfstream G550 business jet.
OVERVIEW OF THE GULFSTREAM G550
Gulfstream G550 is an ultralong range business jet that entered into the service in 2003 by Gulfstream Aerospace. This jet is also known as GV-SP at the type certification and in 2004, a separate version G550 was released downgrading fuel capacity, range and creating a couple of avionics upgrades as options in the existing jet. The design concept was initiated by the Gulfstream V jet and, currently, over 600 jets have been released to the aviation industry. Recently, the production line was ceased by the manufacturer to focus on creating a bigger and better version, including the most popular features of the Gulfstream G550.
The Gulfstream G550 is operated by two flight crew with a maximum seating capacity of nineteen and can typically sleep eight. The cabin compartment covers 50.10 ft in length, 7.30 ft in width, and 6.2 ft height in the airframe. The cargo compartment holds a maximum allowable load of 2500 lbs. The G550 has a top speed of 590 kts and typically has a fuel economy of around 1.1 nm/gal. The powerplant consists of two Rolls-Royce BR710 C4-11 turbofan engines that drive 15,385 lbf. This jet offers a seat-full range of 6,360 nm, but with four passengers aboard, the range can be stretched up to 6,975 nm.
Gulfstream G550 cockpit comprises of Head-Up Display (HUD) and Enhanced Vision System (EVS) enabling better pilot view. The addition of a seventh window to each side of the cabin provides an elegant and spacious cabin finish to the jet interior. The standard cabin configuration consists of four separate living areas. On the original G550s, cabins were available forward or aft. gourmet galleys, storage credenzas, walk-in baggage areas, dual forward and aft lavatories with flushing vacuum toilets, crew rest areas, conference groupings, executive “club-four” seating areas, and divans with berthing tops that convert to sleeping space. Each seat includes slide and swivel motions and footrests that can recline to the full berthing position.
The air conditioning system includes a 100% fresh air system and the cabin lighting system enables passenger comfort, reducing eye fatigue and health risks. The above cabin features have given the jet its popularity among many jet setters. When comparing the flight range, the GV550 has a higher flight range than GV jets due to reductions in aerodynamic drag by the design and the fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce BR710-C4-11 powerplants.
Currently, 2006-2020 Gulfstream G550 jets cost around $16–$39 million, and the average pre-owned price of these jets is around $19 million. The pre-owned price of these jets mainly varies with the total airframe and engine hours and the maintenance condition. The Gulfstream G550 cost per hour is around $4,549.00 and is calculated per annual 450 flying hours of the Gulfstream G550. The fixed and variable costs are approximately $1,756,687.50 and $290,362.00. This fixed cost of the jet depends on depreciation (4% annually for jets), insurance, rental charges by carriers, and miscellaneous costs charged for recurrent training, A/C modernization, refurbishing, etc. The maintenance cost, crew cost, fuel (normally $4–$5 per gal.), and oil are calculated as the variable costs of the jet.
The above-discussed acquisition price, operating costs depend on the current condition and the manufacturer’s year of the aircraft. So, first select the desired jet model from approved dealers or online Gulfstream G550 sale sites like Avbuyer, Globalair, Altivation, and Controller. If not, it is better to meet an aviation expert or existing owner for the assistant. There are some online aircraft cost evaluation sites like Conklin & Decker cost evaluator and aircraft cost calculator that can analyze the prices per your model. So, it is a good practice to know all these financial aspects before you step into the buying process.
PROS AND CONS
The Gulfstream G550 has been popular over the last decade for its higher range and has established more than 50 city-pair speed records. Though the Gulfstream G550 is a large business jet, it has quite an impressive take-off and climb rate with excellent flexibility. A better range of over 6500 nm can be achieved by carrying eight passengers and a flight crew in it. So, traveling in this large jet will make your business ride more effective.
The Gulfstream G550 interior provides better cabin comfort for jet setters. The cabin space, window design, lighting, and air conditioning were all designed to provide the passenger with a luxurious experience. Another advantage is that the interiors can be updated to the latest versions from the manufacturer. So, if you are focusing on better interiors and comfort, buying an older version of the G550 won’t be a problem.
The Gulfstream G550 avionics system is updated with a few advanced technologies to enable pilots to operate in the jet cockpit more effectively. The new HUD and EVS provide pilots with a better view of the plane in the flight deck.
When compared with the current competitors like the Dassault Falcon 8X and Bombardier Global 6000, the G550 has a lower maximum take-off weight. But it has a higher passenger seat capacity than those. The operating costs are also considerably lower, and the price range is quite decent with the above competitors.
Due to the high popularity of this business jet, the jet card options are limited for revenue generation.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON BUYING A GULFSTREAM G550
The Gulfstream G550 is one of the most famous aircraft known for business travel throughout the world. Its elegant cabin interior design and the higher range setup make every jet setter’s travel destination a remarkable one. Not only that, the unique standard design of the Gulfstream G550 will give you the feeling that you will no longer require commercial travel again.
NOTE: THE VALUES MENTON IN THIS ARTICLE ARE FROM PREVAILING AVIATION SITES AND FOR GENERAL REFERENCE ONLY. DO NOT USE THE GIVEN VALUES FOR AIRCRAFT OPERATIONAL ANALYSIS. USE ONLY APPROVED VALUES RECOMMENDED BY THE MANUFACTURER OR THE AIRCRAFT REGULATORY AUTHORITY.