Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation
In 1959, the Grumman Corporation, a manufacturer of military aircraft, introduced the Grumman Gulfstream I business aircraft to the world. This was the beginning of the aircraft company now known as Gulfstream.
This new turboprop aircraft was the first of its kind designed for business travel and was a huge success. Two hundred of them sold immediately. This led Grumman to develop the jet-powered Grumman Gulfstream GII in the early 1960s. This was when Grumman separated the company’s civil and military aircraft production lines. In 1966, the civilian part of the company moved to its current location in Savannah, GA. In 1978, the Gulfstream line was sold to American Jet industries and Allen Paulson. After Paulson bought Gulfstream, development of the GII became his priority. Production of the GII series ended in 1979 and GIII deliveries started shortly afterwards.
In 1982, Paulson bought Rockwell International’s aviation division, making Gulfstream the world’s largest manufacturer of private jets. In 1985, Paulson sold Gulfstream to Chrysler. He bought it back in 1990 with the help of venture capital company, Forstmann-Little & Co. One of Paulson’s visions was to develop the world’s first supersonic corporate jet and Gulfstream entered a partnership with Soviet aircraft manufacturer, Sukhoi, to achieve this along with designing successor aircraft. The partnership with Sukhoi fell through and plans for the supersonic corporate jet were shelved; however, the plans for successor aircraft were not. The GIV and GIV-SP followed the GIII and the first ultra-long-range business jet, the GV, was introduced in 1992. It was certified in 1997 and entered service ahead of its closest competitor, the Global Express.
In 1992, Paulson retired and sold Gulfstream to Forstmann-Little & Co. General Dynamics Aviation Services bought Gulfstream in the late 1990s and renamed itself Gulfstream in 2011.
Gulfstream acquired Galaxy Aerospace in 2001. The purchase of Galaxy also included the Astra SPX and Galaxy aircraft. In 2002, Gulfstream rebranded its production aircraft as follows: the Astra SPX became the G100, the Galaxy became the G200, the GIV-SP became the G300 and G400, and the GV became the G500 and G550. Later on, the G300 and G400 would be redesigned so the cockpit areas would be stretched to the same size and contain the same components as the cockpit in the G500 and G550. This made the Gulfstream manufacturing process more efficient and allowed any assembly line to produce any of the aircraft. With the new cockpit design, the G300 and G400 became the G350 and G450.
Israel Aircraft Industries manufactures the G100, G150, G200 and G280 aircraft for Gulfstream. They are then flown as “green” aircraft to a Gulfstream completion facility stateside for finish.
The Gulfstream G450 was introduced in 2004 as part of Gulfstream’s product line transformation. Technically speaking the G450 is a G400 that has the same 1-foot longer cockpit found in the G500 and G550. The G450 has also upgraded the avionics suite from the Honeywell SPZ8400 to the same Honeywell PlaneView avionics suite found in the G500 and G550.
Production of the G450 started in 2004.