Gulfstream jet to include GE Aviation system

October 14, 2011
| By Pete Daly |
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A new high-tech “vehicle health” monitoring system, produced by GE Aviation facilities in Grand Rapids and in the U.K., will be standard equipment on the new Gulfstream G650 business jet that goes on the market next year.

GE Aviation has been awarded two contracts from Gulfstream Aerospace Corp.: one to provide the Integrated Vehicle Health Management technology and another contract for service on it.

“One of the main advantages of this technology for customers is that the IVHM can predict maintenance issues, therefore turning unscheduled events into scheduled maintenance, before a part or system becomes an issue,” said Jennifer Villarreal of GE Aviation in Grand Rapids.

The new Gulfstream G650 is an eight-seat, long-range business jet with a top speed of Mach 0.995. Testing and certification are expected to be complete this year on the aircraft. Gulfstream, a division of General Dynamics Corp., added 1,300 employees over the past year at its Savannah, Ga., plant where the G650 is made — about 300 more than the company predicted one year ago.

The business jet industry, particularly Gulfstream, is enjoying a strong recovery from a slump that saw output drop as much as 40 percent during the recession.

Lorraine Bolsinger, president and CEO of GE Aviation Systems, said the company’s IVHM “is one of the first comprehensive health management systems for a civil airplane and a first for business jets.”

“Gulfstream is a leader in the business jet market by introducing new technology, innovation and best-in-class product support,” added Bolsinger.

The IVHM technology dates back to 1991 when GE developed the first certified Health and Usage Monitoring System for helicopters. GE has recorded and analyzed more than 2 million flight hours of data from more than 500 military and commercial helicopters.

GE’s IVHM technology will power Gulfstream’s PlaneConnect Health & Trend Monitoring system, which continuously monitors and analyzes data throughout the flight, creating comprehensive information on the engines, avionics, power, cabin and other aircraft systems. Wireless connectivity links every aircraft to a Ground Services Network, providing a web-based service that delivers a real-time picture of aircraft health.

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