The G150 is something of a head-scratcher in the used aircraft market because, “There’s a disconnect between the price sellers will accept and the prices buyers are willing to pay,” says Jay Mesinger, president of Mesinger Jet Sales in Boulder, Colorado. “Sellers have been asking $6 million to $8 million and buyers are willing to pay $4 million to $5 million. That creates a quagmire.”

Yet, the G150 is one of the fastest and most cost-effective mid-light business aircraft that is capable of flying non-stop between most coastal cities in the U.S. Assuming an ideal NBAA profile, it can fly four passengers 2,988 nm at its long-range cruise speed. It offers slightly better range performance compared to the cramped G100 from which it is derived. In addition, its cabin is 12-in. wider than its predecessor and its wide-oval cross-section actually makes available more usable head and shoulder room than some larger midsize jets having circular fuselages.

Many potential used jet buyers, however, shied away from the G150 in favor of the Citation Sovereign, which has slightly less range, but a longer cabin and class-leading short-field performance. The Sovereign sells for $6 million to $7 million in the resale market, Mesinger notes.

In its favor, the G150 technically remains in production, although Gulfstream hasn’t delivered a new one since 2014. The aircraft was built with one of three seating configurations. The “Executive” has a front club section and two forward facing chairs in the aft cabin. The “Universal” features a single forward facing chair on the right and a two-place divan on the left side with a four-seat club section in the rear. The “Hallmark” has two facing chairs on the right side, but it retains the rest of the Universal’s seating arrangement. There is a 55-cu.-ft. aft external baggage compartment and another 25 cu. ft. of internal luggage storage.

Passengers say that the interiors are top notch and sound levels are among the lowest in the mid-light class; meanwhile, BOWs are spot-on Gulfstream’s advertised 15,200-lb. estimate. But the aircraft only has a 750-lb. tanks-full payload, which is the lowest in the light- to midsize classes.

Runway performance is quite satisfactory, though not class leading. This characteristic is made possible by its slats/flaps high-lift system. The aircraft needs only 5,012 ft. to depart a sea-level runway on a standard day, and 8,120 ft. to take off from B&CA’s 5,000-ft. elevation, ISA+20C airport. Most missions can be flown at Mach 0.80 because of the aircraft’s 2,400-nm range at that speed. The G150, indeed, sips fuel at about the same rate as the much smaller Learjet 45XR, if flown at long-range cruise. Few midsize aircraft can depart such short runways and cruise so fast and so far on so little fuel. 

In addition, the aircraft’s max landing weight is just 4,400 lb. less than MTOW, so it has as much as 3 hr. endurance after a stopover with no refueling. As a bonus, these aircraft are very pleasant to hand fly, based upon our flight deck experience.

The aircraft can climb to FL 410 in 25 min. First hour fuel burn is 2,000 lb., assuming high-speed cruise. Fuel burn for the second and subsequent hours is about 1,460 pph. Below 22,000-lb. gross weight, the aircraft can cruise at Mach 0.80 or faster at that altitude. The thrust output of the TFE731-40AR engines, however, is sensitive to OAT. Plan on staying the NAT tracks when crossing the North Atlantic where OATs typically are considerably warmer than ISA. The aircraft has a 45,000-ft. certified ceiling, but it can only climb that high at relatively light weights.

Dispatch reliability for the aircraft, which is manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries, falls short of Gulfstream’s standards for the large-cabin aircraft it builds in Savannah, Georgia. Operators say the G150’s starter generators don’t fare well if they aren’t overhauled at 500-hr. intervals because of the aircraft’s hefty electrical loads. Other problems are less bothersome. Operators say that Gulfstream’s product support is superb, a key asset according to Mesinger, and that the airframer is making steady progress towards improving the G150’s reliability.

The aircraft went into service in 2006 priced at $13.5 million. Today, new aircraft retail for $15.7 million. More than 100 have been delivered to customers. However, at press time only four aircraft were officially for sale, with two unverified, according to AMSTAT.

Competitors? Hawker 800XP/900XP has a longer cabin, but slower cruise speeds, shorter legs, higher fuel burn and no external baggage compartment. The Cessna Citation Sovereign has a considerably longer cabin, but a smaller cross-section. The Citation has a 100-cu.-ft. external baggage compartment, the best runway and climb performance in class, but higher block fuel burns. Bombardier’s Learjet 60XR, having a similar sized cabin, has strong climb and cruise performance, plus good fuel efficiency, but it needs long runways and it’s getting long in the tooth.

The G150 offers an attractive blend of cabin comfort, runway performance and operating efficiency relative to its competitors. Gulfstream’s financial strength, top notch product support and commitment to reliability improvements bode well for the G150’s long life in the business aircraft fleet. Buy a used one at today’s prices and it’s likely to retain an impressive amount of value in the coming years.

This article appears in the August 2015 issue of Business & Commercial Aviation with the title "Gulfstream G150."