Beyond First Class
It may be stating the obvious, but travelling by Gulfstream G650ER is markedly superior to flying First Class
By Harris McAllister
Flying First Class with any airline is a fantastic experience. Picked up by limo, whisked to the luxury lounge, priority boarding and your very own personal booth, with flowing champers and top notch ‘room service’. With the likes of Etihad’s ultra luxury apartment on the A380, commercial flights do offer privileged fliers an incredible adventure, but compared to Gulfstream’s G650ER, the experience doesn’t even come close.
Quite often business jet terminals share the same space as airports. If you fancy a weekend away in Monaco, your pilot will fly you into Nice, along with the scheduled airline flights. However, there are countless private jet terminals scattered about the globe, with the likes of London being serviced by eight private airports alone. Why join the throngs at Gatwick and Heathrow when London City Airport is three miles from Canary Wharf and the exclusive RAF Northolt (which does have limited civilian slots) is a short, 20-minute drive from Mayfair? This ability to land close to your intended destination is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits of Gulfstream ownership.
The Gulfstream 650ER has the power to operate at all the smaller, private airfields, with its twin Rolls-Royce BR725s producing 16,900 pounds of thrust, enabling it to take off in only 1,920 meters. Continuing with the numbers: with a 46,992 kg takeoff weight, the G650ER can either be flown at shorter ranges with heavier payloads or, more impressively, it has the flexibility to fly longer routes, at higher cruise speeds.
You would automatically assume that a business jet, with its relatively small fuel load, would allow you to easily hop from one country to another without the need for a top up, however, they can do much more than that. The Gulfstream G650ER, with its 27,442 kg fuel load has a maximum range of 7,500 nautical miles – and this is travelling at Mach 0.85, with eight passengers and four crew. Put into context, the Airbus A380, with its colossal 361,000 kg fuel capacity, can travel a mere 1000 nautical miles more than the G650ER, at the same speed. In city-pair connections, the ER can fly from Hong Kong to New York, Dubai to Atlanta, or Los Angeles to Melbourne and all in complete luxury.
Not even Etihad’s A380 apartment can match the ER’s cabin amenities. Available with a choice of 12 predefined floor plans (with the option of full custom available), the 46 feet 10 inch long cabin has the feel of a penthouse with its various staterooms, bathrooms and conference spaces. Adding to the feeling of space are the 16 panoramic windows – the largest in the industry and considerably bigger than the port holes found in any airliner. Handcrafted seats cosset their passengers and relaxing sofas are the ideal place to lounge while making the most of the ER’s impressive entertainment systems.
Another area where the G650ER completely outperforms its First Class rivals can only be felt, not seen, as the air in the cabin gets replenished with 100% fresh air every two minutes. Air pressure is also unmatched, as at 45,000 feet, the cabin is pressurized to an altitude of 4,060 feet. The higher the cabin altitude, the less oxygen is taken up by the blood, with gases within the body expanding. With a cabin altitude almost two times lower than that of a conventional airliner, the G650ER passengers will arrive at their destinations less fatigued and more alert – quite handy in the business situation.
THE ONLY WAY TO FLY
Fast, safe and luxurious, Gulfstream’s G650ER is arguably one of the finest business jets in the sky. The ability to fly high above commercial traffic and the weather, plus that colossal range make it a city-pair bird like no other.