There's a new super-midsize champ.
The G280's cabin is 17-in. longer than that of the G200 because the fuselage fuel tank has been removed. The extra cabin length makes available 8 in. more seating room in the main area and a 9-in. larger aft lavatory. The finished cabin is 6.1-ft. high, 6.9-ft. wide, with a 5.4-ft.-wide floor, and is 25.9-ft. long. Each side of the main seating area now has two extra windows and the lavatory has a window on each side. Variable hue LED wash lighting and aisle lighting are standard, along with several passenger reading and work surface lights.
Buyers are offered a choice of Gulfstream Select interior configurations with standardized floor plans, cabinetry, cabin sidewalls and cabin systems. All factory standard configurations incorporate Gulfstream's Cabin Essential redundant cabin management system. All aircraft come equipped with electronic and paper copies of Gulfstream's cabin operating manual, a maintenance handbook and instruction video.
Configurations are available to accommodate eight to 10 passengers, each design having a forward four-seat club section. Individual chairs are 25-in. wide with 21 in. of seat room between the armrests. Each seat has a telescoping headrest with optional foldout “wings” to support the sides of the head.
About 10% of buyers are opting for a second four-seat club section in the aft cabin. Close to 45% are choosing an aft section with two facing chairs on the right side with a 6.7-ft. long, three-place divan on the left side. The remaining buyers are selecting a four-place conference grouping on the left side of the aft cabin with the three-place divan on the right side. Customers said they wanted life-raft storage underneath the divan, so that feature is built into the aircraft.
All single and dual seats fold down into berths. The divan may be extended into the aisle to form a 31-in.-wide berth. The aircraft is designed to sleep four passengers on extended flights in fully flat or near-flat berths.
Occupants enter the aircraft through a 6.0-ft.-high by 2.8-ft.-wide airstair door, which features tread lighting and non-skid steps. It's a plug design that hinges from the bottom edge. A short leg, actuated by the door opening mechanism, extends to support the door on the ground when it's fully opened.
The G280 is the only super-midsize aircraft to have a dropped aisle. Competitors have flat floors. However, early customers contacted by BCA said that their passengers didn't view the dropped aisle as a drawback. Most of these customers currently operate smaller aircraft or G200 aircraft that also have dropped aisles, so their passengers are accustomed to the configuration. In addition, the dropped aisle/raised floor layout allows the chairs to be moved outboard, thereby increasing the width between chairs to 21 in. to make it easy to move about the aircraft.
The right aft chair in the front club section usually is designated as the master position. Gulfstream's Cabin Essential cabin management system is designed to use off-the-shelf iPod Touch PDAs, loaded with a Cabin Essential app, as the remote control. Two iPod Touch PDAs are included with the aircraft. The master seat has an iPod Touch docking station for storage and charging. The master seat also has an Iridium satcom phone handset.
An iPod loaded with the Cabin Essential app can be used aboard any Gulfstream aircraft equipped with the Cabin Essential CMS. The iPod app communicates with the aircraft to “learn” the cabin layout and its specific systems. Thus any iPod running the generic Cabin Essential app can control the cabin systems on any Gulfstream fitted with the Cabin Essential CMS. The cabin audiovisual system has dual 160 GB media servers that each can store 80 to 100 Blu-ray HD movies, a boon to passengers on long flights. There also are dual Blu-ray/DVD/CD players with USB ports, plus laptop ports for inflight business presentations. Fiber-optic cables link the servers with display screens to eliminate latency.
Standard equipment includes a 19-in. forward bulkhead LCD monitor and Gulfstream's CabinView moving map system with flight information, high-resolution satellite imagery, geographic borders and points of interest, and passenger briefing videos. Individual side ledge plug-in monitors are optional.
With inflight access to the baggage compartment, Gulfstream added an auxiliary pressure bulkhead between the lavatory and baggage bay to comply with the latest airworthiness requirements. Normal access to the compartment is restricted to no higher than 40,000 ft. The usable volume of the aft baggage compartment actually is 5-cu.-ft. smaller than the G200's baggage bay because the 33-in.-high by 31-in.-wide external access door opens inward and slides upward rather than being an outward opening door. The plug design, though, is fail-safe because it's sealed in place by cabin pressurization and cannot open in flight.
Inside the cabin, however, there's a 14-cu.-ft. coat closet just aft of the entry door, two divan end cabinets that hold a combined 10 cu. ft. of luggage and a 10-cu.-ft. storage compartment on the left side of the lav, just aft of the sink vanity. The internal storage compartments increase total storage capacity to 154 cu. ft.
Up front, the galley has been redesigned for easier use. There's an edge-to-edge counter top, a sink with right-side faucet with hot and cold water, large capacity ice and trash drawers, aft cabinets for dinnerware and upper cabinets for beverage and amenity storage. A microwave oven and coffeemaker are standard. The galley has its own water heater that's separate from the hot water heater in the lavatory. A conventional oven and Nestlé Nespresso machine are optional.
The galley has a cooled wine storage area, a 115 VAC/60 Hz power outlet, touch-screen control panel and pull-out counter extension, plus LED work surface, accent and cabinet toe kick lighting.
The aft lav is considerably bigger than the one aboard the G200 and features left- and right-side windows to flood the compartment with ambient light. It has more than 8 sq. ft. of floor space and 2.5 ft. of net usable length from cabin divider to the aft cabinets. The aft left side of the lavatory has a closet and the right aft side houses an avionics rack. There's a high-capacity, low-flow vacuum toilet and a sink with hot and cold running water, along with a covered 115-VAC power outlet, LED lighting and flight attendant call button. The lavatory has its own hot water heater. Notably, the entire fresh water system can be purged prior to landing to prevent freeze damage caused by cold weather layovers.
Cabinetry, upholstery, fabrics and Scott Group carpets, among other furnishings, are in keeping with large-cabin Gulfstream standards. The Dallas completion center now gives customers the option of selecting manufactured or reconstituted wood veneers on cabinets that use recycled materials. Aboard Gulfstream's G280 demonstrator, we found these materials to be virtually indistinguishable from natural wood veneers. Overall, the quality of the cabin completion appears to be unparalleled in this class of aircraft.
As comfortable as the cabin furnishings are, the interior completion complements the aircraft's MSG 3 maintenance-friendly design. Only three tools are required to remove all interior components, including chairs, cabinets and side panels.