August 2, 2022
Gulfstream: A History of Excellence in Producing Private Business Jets
Find Their Pre-Owned Jets for Sale on IADA’s AircraftExchange Listing Website
A wholly-owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation has produced more than 2,000 aircrafts since 1958. Its popular G-range of private business jets is now up to G800, with the latest release this year.
But the manufacturer started as Grumman Aircraft Engineering Co., deeply rooted in military aircraft production until the creation of a twin turboprop called the Grumman Gulfstream I in the late 1950s. Because of its success, Grumman went on to develop the jet-powered Grumman Gulfstream II, known as the GII.
The rest, as they say, is history. Since then, Gulfstream has been a leading producer of American-made business jets and built a reputation for their superior design, quality, and performance - all reasons businesses choose to own a private jet from this manufacturer.
Private Business Jet Production Moves to Georgia
With the development of the Gulfstream II, Grumman separated production of military and civil aircraft, relocating the civilian side to Savannah, Georgia in 1966. By 1967, they had hired 100 local workers, soon after increasing their crew to more than 1,700.
The final GII delivery took place in 1977, just four years after Grumman merged its civil aircraft operations with American Aviation Corporation. The following year, Grumman sold the Gulfstream line and the plant to American Jet Industries and was renamed Gulfstream American.
It was here that the Gulfstream III was born, making its first flight in December 1979. Gulfstream American also attempted production on a business jet called the Hustler 400, but the project ended in the prototype phase.
Gulfstream Changes Hands
In the 1980s, Gulfstream American grew their workforce to 2,500, working on the Gulfstream GIIB, with variant offered weight, a modified wing with winglets, and an updated fuselage.
In 1982, the company changed its name to Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation and went public in 1983. Chrysler Corp. acquired Gulfstream in 1985 in an attempt to diversify industries, and the company debuted on the Fortune 500 list.
In 1987, the Gulfstream IV, the first business jet with an all-glass cockpit, was introduced, only two years before Chrysler decided to sell Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation to a private equity firm.
A Decade of Private Business Jet Development
The 1990s were a busy time for Gulfstream. After its 1989 sale to the private equity firm, the company made major moves, including contracting with NetJets - a fractional ownership and jet card company - in 1994, completing the Gulfstream V testing facility, and rolling out the first ultra-long range business jet in 1995.
For the first time ever, they simultaneously manufactured two aircraft, the GIV-SP and the GV, the latter setting 40 city-pair and speed/distance records before earning the 1997 Robert J. Collier Trophy, the highest honor in North American aeronautics.
Keen to keep building on their brand and reputation, Gulfstream purchased K-C Aviation in 1998.
The General Dynamics Era
Gulfstream ended the 1990s with an acquisition by General Dynamics, rapidly joined by Galaxy Aerospace. With maintenance facilities now in Dallas, Minneapolis, West Palm Beach, Las Vegas, Savannah, and Westfield, Massachusetts, General Dynamics Aviation Services was able to maintain and repair Gulfstream aircraft.
In 2002, Gulfstream transitioned its jet naming convention, abandoning the use of Roman numerals for its line-up, which included the G100, G200, G300, G450, G500, and G550.
Gulfstream Goes High Tech
That same year, Gulfstream earned its second Collier Trophy for theG550, the first private jet to receive a Type Certification from the Federal Aviation Administration that includes an Enhanced Vision System (EVS) as standard equipment.
Gulfstream’s dedication to employing state-of-the-art equipment in its business jets was proven then; the G550 also included PlaneView®, the first integrated avionics suite that included four displays in a landscape format. Later, Gulfstream enhanced these flight displays with Synthetic Vision-Primary Flight Display and EVSII, adding a 3-D image of terrain overlaid with flight display instruments. This achieved FAA certification in 2008.
In 2005, they added in-flight internet and a telescopic nose device designed to soften sonic booms. In another big first, the new G150 was the first business jet to receive Stage 4 certification from the FAA, for meeting stringent noise standards.
2008 to Present: Big Roll-Outs and Growth
New Gulfstream business jets rapidly took shape at the now massive Savannah plant: the Gulfstream G650, the largest and fastest of the fleet; and the G250 (later renamed G280).
These capable aircrafts, particularly the G650, remain popular among business travelers, jet card providers, and charter companies. They’re commonly found as a pre-owned jet for sale, a smart purchase over buying a brand-new aircraft.
In January 2011, General Dynamics Aviation Services rebranded as Gulfstream, simplifying its brand identity and making itself more easily recognizable across its nine worldwide service centers and component repair facility, with a total of 12 locations employing more than 11,500 people.
The much anticipated G500/G600 roll-outs followed in 2014 and 2016 respectively; and in 2021, the company introduced the G400 and G800.
Finding a Gulfstream Used Private Jet
With such a prolific history and ongoing developments of aircraft, it’s no surprise that used Gulfstream business jets are in high demand.
The easiest way to find authentic and honest listings of pre-owned jets for sale bearing the Gulfstream brand is through AircraftExchange.com, the exclusive listing site of the International Aircraft Dealers Association's (IADA) Accredited Aircraft Dealers.
IADA Accredited Aircraft Dealers pledge to follow a strict code of ethics and can demonstrate success in the private aviation industry. Find a full list of these trustworthy dealers on the AircraftExchange website.