Gulfstream 280 Guide and Specs: All You Need To Know [2022]

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Introduction

The Gulfstream G280 is a twin-engine medium-sized business jet designed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) for American company Gulfstream Aerospace. The jet is an evolution of their previous collaboration with the Gulfstream G200 and was introduced in 2008. Improvements between the Gulfstream G200 and G280 include an all-new glass cockpit, improved engines, a redesigned wing, and a deicing system. Despite being an evolution of the Gulfstream G200, the G280 is covered under a new type certificate. Since 2012, a total of 213 aircraft have been delivered to date.

Gulfstream G280 / Specs

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The passenger cabin is 6.3 ft tall, 7.2 ft wide and 25.8 ft long, with a very gently recessed floor. This puts the Gulfstream G280 at the high end of stand-up comfort even for tall passengers. The aircraft can seat up to 12 passengers, though the most common cabin configuration has six seats in double club configuration plus a sofa with room for up to three people. The middle seat in the divan is not rated for take-offs and landings. The club seats can be reclined to a berth position, doubling as beds for long flights. Sleeping capacity for the standard eight-seat configuration is rated at four, growing to five in the ten-seaters.

Between the flight deck and the passenger cabin is a full galley. It has a convection oven (replaceable with a microwave at customer request), cold storage, a coffee maker, an ice drawer, a sink with both hot and cold water, an extendable countertop and plenty of storage space for food and cutlery.

The aft end has a closed lavatory with a vacuum toilet, and a 10 cu ft closet. The aircraft is praised for its bright interior thanks to no less than 19 large windows. Interestingly, the aft baggage compartment, rated for up to 1980 lbs across 120 cu ft is accessible in flight thanks to an auxiliary bulkhead. Currently access to the compartment is only allowed below FL400, but this restriction is ‘artificial’ and related to the certification process. Work is ongoing between Gulfstream and both the FAA and EASA to have this limit lifted.

The Gulfstream’s cabin management system (CMS) can be controlled from the flight deck, the passenger cabin or via an iOS app which can operate temperature, lighting and entertainment settings. The amenities and spacious cabin make the Gulfstream G280 one of the most comfortable business jets in its class and go well with its great range.

Power is provided by a pair of Honeywell HTF7250G turbofan engines producing 7624 lbf of thrust each. The HTF7250G have a dual-channel FADEC and are equipped with thrust reversers. Besides being more powerful, this powerplant is also more fuel-efficient than the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW306A that equipped the Gulfstream G200. This allowed IAI and Gulfstream to eliminate the rear fuselage tank on the Gulfstream G280. The tank’s removal allowed the cabin interior to be stretched by another 17 inches for added passenger comfort.

The flight deck on the Gulfstream G280 is outfitted with a Rockwell Collins PlaneViewG280 suite, the latest iteration of the company’s famous Pro Line Fusion. Information is displayed to pilots across three 15-inch displays. Data input is done via two flight management system (FMS) units placed by the throttles. The design goal for the Gulfstream G280 was to keep it modern but keep it familiar to other Gulfstream family members, including the large jets. Synthetic vision is technical an optional feature, but it is so popular among viewers that you may find it harder to come across a G280 without it.

Gulfstream G280 / Prices

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Broadly speaking, a brand-new Gulfstream G280 in its standard configuration will set the buyer back $25 million. This price has remained constant since the aircraft’s introduction in 2012.

Gulfstream G280 / Performance and Handling

The improved wing on the Gulfstream G280 is derived from the larger Gulfstream G550’s airfoil design. It has an area of 495 sq ft compared to the 369 sq ft on the G200 wing. Combined with the improved engines, this allows the Gulfstream G280 to climb to FL430 without the need for steps. At maximum takeoff weight, the G280 can go from sea level to FL430 in just 20 minutes. Cruise speeds grew from the Gulfstream G200’s Mach 0.75 to Mach 0.80. At FL410 and Mach 0.82, the Gulfstream G280 has a total fuel burn of 1800 lbs per hour.

The range is a strong point in the Gulfstream G280, with the aircraft able to reach 3600 nmi with NBAA IFR reserves with four passengers at Mach 0.80. In practical terms, this allows it to fly between Dubai and Singapore, or New York and Los Angeles, without stops.

Gulfstream wings are famous for an almost allergic attitude towards aerodynamic devices – leading-edge devices, flow fences, flap track canoes, anything that adds complexity and has trade-offs is a no-no according to the designers. The G280 is fitted with spoilers controlled by the aircraft’s fly-by-wire system and activates automatically during landing to dump lift. The rudder is also controlled by the flight control system.

Landing performance with the Gulfstream G280 is generally seen favorably. Thanks to the automatic spoilers and the aircraft’s autobraking system, the aircraft has passed certification tests for the notoriously tight London City Airport at the heart of the English capital.

The Gulfstream G280 has a T-tail as opposed to the G200’s cruciform empennage. The choice was equal parts aerodynamics and aesthetics: the elevator authority was improved, and the designers “wanted it to look more like a Gulfstream”.

Gulfstream G280 / Maintenance Schedule

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As is the case with most aircraft, the main maintenance item to look out for on the Gulfstream G280 is the engine. The two aft-mounted Honeywell HTF7250G engines used on it follow modern maintenance procedures that improve dispatch reliability while lowering costs for operators in both short and long run.

Unlike most of its predecessors, the HTF7250G does not have any mandatory schedule overhauls or hot section teardown inspections. Honeywell designed them to use an on-condition maintenance program where the engine is only removed from the aircraft in three cases: if an issue arises in flight, if a problem is detected during a scheduled inspection, or if a component reaches its lifespan. One of the few downsides of the on-condition approach taken with the HTF7250G is that it becomes harder to budget for maintenance due to the lower frequency of scheduled events. Many owners have gotten around this by adhering to the Honeywell MSP program for their engines.

According to the Aircraft Maintenance Manual, Maintenance Review Board Report, and Engine Maintenance Manuals, there are still several noteworthy scheduled events for the Gulfstream G280.

At one year or 500 hours, the engines must undergo an inspection. The same happens at two years or 1000 hours, where an oil change is mandated. This requirement has been suspended in lieu of an oil filter change plus analysis at every 150 to 250 hours. At the four year or 2000-hour mark, the turbine stage 1 rotor blades and aft flow discourager need a detailed inspection, and the starter fuel nozzles and engine fuel filter need replacement.

For eight years or between 4000 and 4800 hours, the aircraft requires a deep inspection. It is recommended that this be done together with the 2000-hour inspection as most of the access work will be done by then. Every 7000 hours the engine’s hydro-mechanical unit must be removed, disassembled, cleaned, reassembled, and finally tested. Finally, every sixteen years or 9600 hours, the compressor zone borescope needs to receive the same treatment.

Gulfstream G280 / Modifications and Upgrades

As a relatively young design, the Gulfstream G280 has yet to undergo major changes at the hands of IAI or Gulfstream. That does not mean such work is not in the cards. In March 2021, CEO of Gulfstream Aerospace Mark Burns said at a conference that the company is planning several upgrades aimed at reducing pilot workload, improving the passenger experience, and overall safety of the aircraft.

Among these is a surface management system that will alert pilots of unsafe ground operations to prevent runway incursions, a vertical weather analysis system, and predictive wind shear. Passengers will get to enjoy a new air purification system that complements the aircraft’s current environmental control system which achieves a 100% fresh air rating. Pressurization is also slated to be improved, from the current 7000 ft cabin at up to FL450.

Gulfstream G280 / Where to Find Replacement Parts

Parts for the Gulfstream G280 are easy to come by, sourced either independently from shops or with the assistance of maintenance programs for aircraft subscribed to one.

Gulfstream G280 / Common Problems

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The Gulfstream G280 has had a relatively trouble-free life since its introduction in 2012, but as is the case with most aircraft, there have been a number of service bulletins published. The most noteworthy ones include maintenance of the tower shaft bearing, the fourth bearing in the turbine core, the fourth carbon seal, plus the installing of an improved annular ball bearing on both engines and the replacement of both 4th roller bearing and its carbon seal on them.

Gulfstream G280 / Insurance Options

According to the GuardianJet private aviation portal, hull insurance for a Gulfstream G280 costs $24371, while liability insurance costs another $35000 on top of that. The condition given for these estimates is a moderately experienced crew with at least 50 hours on the type plus current commercial, multi-engine and IFR ratings, for 300 hours flown a year.

Gulfstream G280 / Resale Value

The average purchase price for a used Gulfstream 280 in 2021 is set at around $16 million. However, it is possible to find aircraft in the market going at anywhere from $13 million to $19 million, depending on that airframe’s year of manufacture, number of hours and landings, and enrollment in engine maintenance programs.

Gulfstream G280 / Owner Reviews

The Gulfstream 280 is popular among both owners and pilots. Its performance allows it to compete with more expensive aircraft at a lower cost, while still delivering in terms of payload and passenger capability. Honeywell’s efforts to streamlining engine maintenance have dramatically improved dispatch rates compared to the previous iteration equipped with Pratt & Whitney engines. Safety features in the jet are greatly appreciated too, such as the multiple flight control redundancies that still allow the pilot to fly while keeping their head outside the cockpit, or the automatic thrust correction applied to the rudder by the fly-by-wire system in case of a single-engine failure.

Gulfstream G280 / Similar Aircraft

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The Gulfstream G280 has competition from both within its niche and from “neighboring” options that eat into its market share. Besides Gulfstream’s own predecessors, the jet faces a stiff contest for sales against Cessna’s Citation X+ and Longitude, and Embraer’s Legacy and Praetor families.

The Citation X+ has been recently discontinued by Cessna in favor of the Citation Longitude to avoid having two competing projects, despite being in different classes technically. Both can give the G280 a run for its money as far as range is concerned. The Citation X+ takes the prize for speed thanks to its claim to being the fastest business jet in history, while the Longitude is not as blistering in performance but compensates by bringing down costs.

Embraer’s Legacy and Praetor ranges have taken the market by storm in recent years. The Brazilian company had previously made a name with its regional airliners, and it repeated the feat with the introduction of the Phenom and Legacy series. While it began offering either a very light jet and a converted regional airliner, the gaps in its lineup were quickly filled with the Legacy 450, 500, and Praetor 500 and 600. The Praetor 600 offers stiff competition to Gulfstream’s offering, greatly exceeding its range with a total of 4018 nmi plus IFR reserves. Acquisition and operation costs for the jet are also lower than the G280 in most cases.

Gulfstream G280/Clubs You Can Join

Currently, there are no dedicated Gulfstream owner clubs one can join. This tendency seems to repeat itself across most executive aviation types and is largely due to the relatively high ownership costs for private persons, meaning most aircraft are owned or managed by companies instead. There are pages on social medias such as Facebook or forums where pilots and owners of Gulfstream aircraft including the G280 can still seek advice and discuss their beloved jet.

FAQ

Question: How much does a Gulfstream G280 cost?

Answer: A new Gulfstream G280 will cost $25 million, while a used one costs anywhere between $13 million and $19 million today.

Question: Can a Gulfstream G280 fly across the Atlantic?

Answer: Yes. The aircraft can fly non-stop transatlantic routes.

Question: How far can a Gulfstream G280 fly?

Answer: The Gulfstream G280 has a maximum range of 3600 nautical miles with NBAA IFR reserves.

Question: Is the Gulfstream G280 still in production?

Answer: Yes, the Gulfstream G280 has been continuously produced since its introduction in 2012.

Question: Where is the Gulfstream G280 made?

Answer: The fuselage, empennage, and landing gear are manufactured in Israel, with the wings being made in Wichita, Kansas. The components are assembled in Israel, after which the aircraft is ferried to Gulfstream’s Dallas factory-owned service center to be fitted with the cabin interior, painting, and other finishing touches.

Question: How fast is the Gulfstream G280?

Answer: The Gulfstream G280 has a maximum speed of Mach 0.84, while its normal cruise speed is of 459 knots.

Further Reads:

References

https://www.duncanaviation.aero/intelligence/2020/April/honeywell-htf7250-engine-inspection-intervals-for-gulfstream-g280

https://www.guardianjet.com/jet-aircraft-online-tools/aircraft-brochure.cfm?m=Gulfstream-G280-30

https://compareprivateplanes.com/articles/gulfstream-g280-ownership-operating-costs

https://www.flyingmag.com/story/aircraft/gulfstream-g280-alive-and-well/

https://www.flyingmag.com/aircraft/jets/gulfstream-g280/

https://www.iai.co.il/p/g280

https://www.gulfstream.com/en/aircraft/gulfstream-g280/

https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/business-aviation/2018-02-09/pilot-report-gulfstream-g280

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