The Gulfstream G650 and Gulfstream G700 represent two of the largest private jets on the market.
When deliveries of the G650 began in 2012, it was Gulfstream’s flagship aircraft. The largest, fastest and longest range aircraft that Gulfstream currently produced.
This title was soon taken by the G650ER, when deliveries began in 2014, increasing the range to 7,500 nautical miles.
With deliveries of the Gulfstream G700 due to start in 2022, the crown of the Gulfstream flagship aircraft has changed once again.
Therefore, how does the old Gulfstream flagship aircraft compare with the new one? Which aircraft should you choose to charter for your next intercontinental mission.
Firstly, how do these two aircraft compare when it comes to performance.
Well, to start with, the Gulfstream G650 is powered by two Rolls-Royce BR725 engines. Each engine is capable of producing up to 16,900 lbs of thrust. As a result, the total thrust output for the G650 is 33,800 lbs.
On the other hand, the Gulfstream G700 is powered by two Rolls-Royce Pearl 700 engines. Each engine is capable of producing up to 18,250 lbs of thrust. As a result, the total thrust output for the G700 is 36,500 lbs.
Consequently, both the G650 and G700 are capable of cruising at up to 516 knots.
Furthermore, the similarities continue when it comes to each aircrafts maximum cruise altitude. Both aircraft have a maximum cruise altitude of 51,000 feet.
However, when it comes to fuel burn, the G700 has a clear lead.
The G650 has an estimated fuel burn of 475 Gallons per Hour (GPH). In comparison, the G700 is estimated to burn just 382 Gallons per Hour (GPH). This results in a substantial fuel saving over a long mission.
For example, when flying a 10 hour mission, the G650 is estimated to use 930 gallons more of fuel compared with the G700. Assuming that Jet A fuel has an average cost of $5 per gallon, flying the G700 will result in a $4,650 saving in fuel cost.
When it comes to range, the G700 is in a league of its own. In fact, the only private jet that is able to outperform the G700 – when it comes to range – is the Bombardier Global 7500. See a comparison between the G700 and Global 7500 here.
In terms of actual figures, the G650 is capable of flying up to 7,000 nautical miles (8,055 miles / 12,964 kms) without needing to refuel.
In comparison, the G700 is capable of flying up to 7,500 nautical miles (8,631 miles / 13,890 kms) without needing to refuel.
While a difference of 500 nautical miles seems relatively minor, its the difference between making it from Los Angeles to Dubai non-stop or falling short.
Of course, as with every manufacturer stated range figures, these numbers are somewhat optimistic.
When looking at the ground performance of each aircraft, the figures are very similar.
The Gulfstream G650 has a minimum take off distance of 5,858 feet. In comparison the Gulfstream G700 has a minimum take off distance of 6,250 feet.
A difference of just under 400 feet in minimum take off distance will most likely go unnoticed. Furthermore, it is unlikely that there will be situations in which the G650 is able to operate from an airfield that the G700 is unable to.
However, figures that are surprising are the minimum landing distance numbers.
The G650 has a minimum landing distance of 3,182 feet. Whereas the minimum landing distance of the G700 is 2,500 feet.
Given that the G700 is a larger, heavier aircraft, a landing distance of just 2,500 feet is extremely impressive.
Given that these two aircraft are designed to comfortably transport you between continents, large cabins are a given.
When it comes to interior dimensions, the only dimension where these aircraft differ is interior length. When it comes to interior length, the G650’s cabin measures 16.33 meters long. In comparison, the G700’s measures 17.35 meters in length.
Next, when it comes to interior width, both aircraft are identical. Both the G650 and G700 measure 2.49 meters in interior cabin width.
Additionally, the similarities in dimensions continue to height. Both aircraft measure 1.91 meters in interior height. As a result, most passengers will have ample headroom when moving around the cabin.
Consequently, according to Gulfstream, both the G650 and G700 can be configured to carry up to 19 passengers. However, whether these aircraft ever actually fly with maximum occupancy is another question.
Furthermore, the similarities continue when it comes to baggage capacity. Both aircraft are able to accommodate up to 195 cubic feet of baggage.
Given that first deliveries of these aircraft are 10 years apart, certain technological advancements have been made. However, the difference in cabin quality is not quite as dramatic as one might first expect.
For example, let’s look at cabin altitude. The lower the cabin altitude the more pleasant the cabin environment and the reduced effects of jet lag.
When cruising at 51,000 feet the G650 has a cabin altitude of just 4,100 feet. The lowest of any private jet on the market.
However, despite the G700 being the latest flagship aircraft, representing everything that Gulfstream is capable of, it has a cabin altitude of 4,850 feet when cruising at 51,000 feet.
While a difference in cabin altitude of 750 feet is likely to go unnoticed by most passengers, an increase in cabin altitude is not typically seen across the generations.
The G650 boasts a spacious interior – described as “a refined getaway above the clouds”. The cabin can have up to four living areas, enough to work, dine, entertain and relax.
With one of the quietest cabins in business aviation, the G650 is the perfect place to relax. The G650 has a cabin noise level of just 47 decibels. A cabin altitude of 4,100 feet is the lowest in business aviation.
These two factors combine to guarantee that the G650 is supremely comfortable. Additionally, low cabin noise, low cabin altitude, and 100% fresh air ensure that you will arrive at your destination with minimal jet lag.
With 16 of the trademark Gulfstream large, oval windows provide the cabin with an abundance of natural light.
Providing both comfort and productivity, Gulfstream’s handcrafted seats allow you to settle in and enjoy the journey. Each seat is positioned next to a window.
When circumnavigating the globe, as expected, the G650 is able to provide fully flatbeds for the passengers. All single seats and divan convert to beds, providing you with a good night’s sleep.
Flying on the G650 entitles you to the top-of-the-range cabin amenities. Expect WiFi connectivity, a 42-inch flatscreen TV, video monitors, extensive galley facilities.
According to Gulfstream, the G700 features the tallest, widest and longest cabin in the industry. If you require a larger cabin you will be looking at the VIP airliners, such as the Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) or Embraer Lineage 1000E.
The aim of the G700 is to create the most comfortable environment possible in the sky so that you can sleep, work or relax as efficiently as possible. The G700 features true circadian lighting to simulate the sunlight of your next time zone to help reduce the effects of jet lag. Additionally, the G700 has a maximum cabin altitude of just 4,850 feet, one of the lowest cabin altitudes to be found on a private jet, helping you sleep better and reduce the effects of jet lag. Add in the extremely quiet cabin, you will have no trouble working, sleeping, or just relaxing.
Gulfstream has also fitted the G700 with twenty of the largest windows in business aviation, flooding the cabin with natural light to make the already large cabin feel even more spacious. As standard, the G700 features Jet Connex Ka-band Wi-Fi so that you can stay connected when you are in the air for hours at a time.
The G700 features an all-new seat design that is handcrafted for each aircraft and can be converted to ergonomic beds. The G700 has a maximum capacity of 19 passengers in a seating configuration and space for 13 passengers in a sleeping configuration. The cabin can be configured with up to five living spaces so you will always be able to get some privacy from your fellow passengers when on a long flight. See below for the various configurations you can have on a G700.
When it comes to chartering these aircraft the G650 is less expensive than the G700. However, please note that there are many factors that influence the price of a private jet charter. Therefore, prices will vary depending on the mission.
The estimated hourly charter price of the G650 is $10,500 .
In comparison, the estimated hourly charter price of the G700 is $13,000.
Please do keep in mind that these prices are estimates only. There are a variety of factors that can and will influence the charter price of a private jet.
And finally, how much does each aircraft cost to buy?
The Gulfstream G650 has a new list price of $65 million. In comparison the Gulfstream G700 has a new list price of $75 million.
Crucially, the retention of value of the G650 is extremely strong.
According to Aircraft Bluebook, a ten year old G650 has an estimated pre-owned value of $54 million.
Therefore, over ten years of ownership, the aircraft is only worth $11 million less than its original purchase price.
Of course, given that deliveries of the G700 are yet to begin, there are no pre-owned values for it. However, it is extremely likely that the depreciation will follow a similar curve to the G650 and G650ER.
So, which aircraft is best?
Technically speaking, the G700 is the better aircraft.
Sure, the G650 outperforms it in some aspects, such as maximum cabin altitude and minimum take off distance.
However, in terms of latest interior and cockpit technology, along with the incredible 7,500 nautical mile range, the G700 is the clear victor.
Although, if making a charter or purchase decision, money plays a crucial role. Given that the G650 is available now and holds its value extremely well, it still demonstrates a tempting proposition.