SÃO PAULO, Brazil, August 14, 2013 — Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. today celebrated the
55th anniversary of the first Gulfstream I (GI) flight. The twin-engine turboprop was the first
aircraft specifically designed and built for business travel.
“The GI laid the foundation for the state-of-the-art Gulfstream business jets that we deliver to
customers today,” said Larry Flynn, president, Gulfstream. “The GI, which was created by our
predecessor, Grumman Aircraft Engineering Co., was ahead of its time in many respects,
including performance, comfort, versatility and reliability. More than 50 of these aircraft are still
in operation around the world, a testament to the aircraft’s tremendous reliability.”
The company delivered 200 GIs between 1958 and 1969, when production ceased. The aircraft
was used by many U.S. corporations for business travel, but also saw service with five U.S.
government agencies and all branches of the U.S. armed forces. Several of the first Gulfstream
aircraft were later converted into commuter airliners.
Today, more than 20 GIs operate in the U.S. Several other countries have GIs on their aircraft
registry, including Canada, Mexico, Portugal and South Africa. The largest fleet, with nine
aircraft, is operated by Phoenix Air Group Inc., an international aircraft services company based
in Cartersville, Ga.
“Most of the principals at Phoenix Air Group would agree that the GI platform has been an
intricate and essential part of the growth and prosperity of our company,” said Bob Tracey, vice
president, Phoenix Air Group. “What I always say to individuals who can’t believe these aircraft
are 50 years old and still flying is this: These aircraft were built by people who were assembling
fighter aircraft 13 or 15 years earlier. They knew what they were doing and took a lot of pride in
it. They built these aircraft to last, and they have.”
The GI’s maiden flight took place Aug. 14, 1958, over Bethpage, N.Y., the site of Grumman
headquarters. At the controls were Grumman test pilots Carl Alber and Fred Rowley. After
approximately 800 hours of additional testing, the GI received U.S. Federal Aviation Agency
certification on May 21, 1959. Shortly thereafter, Grumman delivered the first GI to Sinclair Oil,
which flew it out of the Westchester County Airport in White Plains, a New York suburb.
The GI accommodates 12 passengers and has a maximum speed of 350 miles per hour (563
kilometers per hour) at 25,000 feet (7,620 m). It is powered by twin Rolls-Royce Dart engines
and has a range of 2,200 miles (3,541 km). Among its distinguishing features are large, oval
windows, which have become a Gulfstream trademark, a low-wing platform and a basic
fuselage cross section that continued through four decades of Gulfstream jets.
“The GI is a very important part of our history,” said Scott Neal, senior vice president, Sales and
Marketing, Gulfstream. “It laid the foundation for what has turned into a long and successful line
of business jets. Today, we have more than 2,100 aircraft in service and our in-production fleet
– the G650, G550, G450, G280 and G150 – comprises the industry’s safest, most reliable and
technologically advanced aircraft.”