Aircraft History, Specification and Information
Gulfstream IV
Gulfstream G-IV Corporate Jet - N352BH
1999 Gulfstream G-IV - N352BH (sn 1393)
GIV shortly after lift-off on runway 13R at Boeing Field.
Photo taken Aug. 12, 2011
Seattle - Boeing Field / King County Intl, WA - USA (BFI / KBFI)
Photo © Marcel Siegenthaler

The Gulfstream IV (or G-IV or GIV) and derivatives are a family of twin-jet aircraft, mainly for private or business use. The aircraft was designed and built by Gulfstream Aerospace, a General Dynamics company based in Savannah, Georgia, United States from 1985 until 2003.

Design and development

Gulfstream, in collaboration with Grumman began work on the Gulfstream IV in March 1983 as a re-engined,stretched fuselage derivative of the Gulfstream III. A decision to redesign the wing structure for weight reduction presented an opportunity for an aerodynamic redesign of the wing to reduce cruise drag and increase range. Wing contour modifications had to be restricted to the forward 65% of wing chord so that no redesign of the control surfaces would be necessary. Modification of the inboard wing would have entailed a redesign of the fuselage floor structure, consequently this region of the wing was not modified. Outboard wing modifications were aimed at reducing the peak subcritical pressure coefficient and moving it aft in an effort to reduce shock strength and increase shock sweep. The Gulfstream IV wing has a weaker, more swept outboard shock resulting in a lower cruise drag. Other benefits arising from this design are a lower root bending moment due to the more inboard center of pressure, a lower stall speed due to washout and a larger fuel volume due to increased chord. These aerodynamic improvements result in an increase in range of over 300 nautical miles.

The first GIV made its maiden flight on September 19, 1985. The model received type certification from the FAA in April 1987. The G-IV entered into service with serial number 1000 in 1987 and was upgraded to the special purpose GIV-SP version at serial number 1214 in 1993. It was later redesignated G400 at serial number 1500.

A shorter range variant was created based on the GIV and given the G300 designation in 2002. The G400 has a large cabin, long range of 4,350 nautical miles (8,060 km) and the same comfort and design that characterize the G series. Typical cruise height and speed are 45,000 ft and Mach 0.88. Earlier models were fitted with Honeywell's SPZ 8000 Avionics package. The SPZ 8400 Avionics Package was an option, becoming standard on later models. It costs about $15 million at 2009 prices.

In 2001 Gulfstream began work on an improved version of the GIV-SP, originally designated GIV-X. It was later renamed G450. The G450 is lengthened 1 ft (0.305 m) over the G400 and shares the forward fuselage and larger cockpit of the G550. Production of the G450 began in October 2004, replacing the G400. The G450 has better performance and comes with the PlaneView cockpit with four 14 in (355 mm) liquid crystal displays and a Head up display (HUD). The shorter range G350 version of the G450 was developed and received certification in 2004.

Operational history

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) operates a GIV-SP (N49RF) modified to fly scientists and crew members at 45,000 feet around tropical cyclones. The aircraft was modified to drop instruments called "dropsondes" to measure windspeed, barometric pressure, humidity, and temperature as they fall to the surface of the ocean. By sampling the cyclone with these dropsondes over a 4,000 mile track around the storm, the forecasters at NOAA's National Hurricane Center and Hurricane Research Division can better predict where the hurricane will be "steered" by the upper level winds. They also predict wind shear that will either increase or decrease a hurricane's strength. The GIV-SP is suited for this mission since it is fast, and can fly long distances with ample cabin space for the crew and instruments. In 2009, the NOAA GIV-SP was further modified by the addition of a side-scanning Doppler radar to the rear fuselage. This radar is used for storm cloud profiling.

In June 1987 a Gulfstream IV set 22 world records in its class in flying west around the world in 45 hr 25 min. The next year another GIV set 11 world records flying east around the world. In 1990, Gulfstream CEO Allen E. Paulson and a Gulfstream flight crew set 35 international records for around-the-world flight in a GIV.

On October 30, 1996, a twin engine Gulfstream IV business jet departing from Chicago Executive Airport with three crew members and one passenger lost control upon takeoff and crashed immediately to the north of the airport. All four aboard perished.


C-20F/G/H/J military variants

The U.S. military variant of the IV, designated C-20F/G/H/J Gulfstream IV in Department of Defense service. The C-20F is a GIV model operated by the U.S. Army in a command/executive transport role.

The C-20G aircraft may be configured for cargo operations, 26 passenger operations or combinations of the two. With passengers seats removed, it may be configured as three pallets with no passengers or two pallets and eight passengers or one pallet and fourteen passengers. With full seating, the aircraft is capable of accommodating up to twenty-six passengers and a crew of four. A hydraulically-operated cargo door is installed on the starboard side of the aircraft, and a ball roller cargo floor is capable of accommodating palletized cargo. The C-20G is operated by Fleet Logistics Support Squadron Four Eight (VR-48) and Marine Air Support Detachment (MASD) at Naval Air Facility, Andrews Air Force Base, Washington, DC and at Fleet Logistics Support Wing Detachment, Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

The C-20H is a GIV-SP model operated by the U.S. Air Force in a command/executive transport role. The C-20J is a GIV-SP model operated by the U.S. Army in a command/executive transport role.

G350 / G450

The G450 is an improved version of the GIV-SP/G400 using technologies from the G500/G550 (an upgrade to the GV). It has a "PlaneView" cockpit with 4 Honeywell 21 EFIS screens, and a Gulfstream-designed cursor control system. It also has the "Enhanced Vision System" (EVS), an infrared camera that displays an image of the view in front of the camera on a head up display. EVS permits the aircraft to land in lower-visibility instrument meteorological conditions than a non-EVS-equipped aircraft.

The G350 is the short-range version of the G450. It has the same exterior appearance as G450, and includes the PlaneView cockpit, but does not have EVS as standard equipment, which is available as an option.


Civil operators

The aircraft is operated by private individuals, companies and executive charter operators, and in fractional ownership programs.

Government and military operators

  • Botswana
    The Botswana Air Force operates a single G-IV for VIP transport.
  • Brunei
    The Sultan of Brunei operates a G-IV.
  • Chile
    The Chilean Air Force operates four G-IVs in a commander / executive transport role.
  • Côte d'Ivoire (formerly Ivory Coast)
  • Egypt
    The Egyptian Air Force operates four G-IVs in a commander / executive transport role.
  • India
    The Indian Air Force in Reconnaissance Role.
  • Ireland
    The Irish Air Corps operates a G-IV in a Government Transport Role.
  • Japan
    The Japan Air Self-Defense Force operates five G-IVs under the designation U-4, modified to incorporate a large cargo door and can move palletized cargo and passenger mixes similar to the C-20G aircraft operated by the U.S. Navy and Marines.
  • Malaysia
    The Sultan of Johor operates a G-IV.
  • Netherlands
    The Royal Netherlands Air Force operates one G-IV SP in a commander / government transport role.
  • Saudi Arabia
    The Royal Saudi Air Force operates one G-IV in a commander / government transport role. The military operates one G-IV SP in the med/vac transport role. The Saudi Arabian Minister of Finance and Economy operates a G-IV (G300).
  • Sweden
    The Swedish Air Force operates four Gulfstream IVs, two are highly modified G-IV SPs in the SIGINT role and are designated S 102B Korpen (Raven). Two other aircraft, a G-IV designated TP 102A, and a G-IV SP, designated TP 102C, serve as transport for the Royal Family and the Prime Minister.
  • Turkey
    The Turkish Air Force operates a G-IV SP in a commander / executive transport role.
  • Pakistan
    The Pakistan Air Force operates four G-IV SPs in a commander / executive transport roles.
  • Uganda
    The Government of Uganda purchased one G-IV in December 2000 at a cost of US$31.5 million for Presidential flights. It was sold in December 2009.
  • United States
    United States Air Force as C-20 series
    United States Army as C-20 series
    United States Navy as C-20 series
    United States Marine Corps as C-20 series
    NOAA - operates a G-IV-SP in an atmospheric research and Hurricane tracking role.
  • Venezuela
    The Venezuelan Air Force operates a G-IV in a commander / executive transport role.


GIV GIV-SP G350 G450
Cockpit crew Two
Seating capacity 14-19 19 maximum
12-16 typical
Length 88 ft 4 in (26.9 m) 89 ft 4 in (27.2 m)
Wingspan 77 ft 10 in (23.7 m)
Overall height 24 ft 5 in (7.44 m) 25 ft 2 in (7.67 m)
Maximum take-off weight
73,200 lb (33,200 kg) 74,600 lb (33,800 kg) 70,900 lb (32,200 kg) 73,900 lb (33,500 kg)
Empty weight 35,500 lb (16,100 kg) 42,700 lb (19,400 kg) 43,000 lb (19,500 kg)
Cruising speed Mach 0.80 (460 knots, 528 mph, 850 km/h at altitude)
Maximum speed Mach 0.88 (505 knots, 581 mph, 935 km/h at altitude)
Range 4,220 nmi (7,820 km; 4,860 mi) 4,220 nmi (7,820 km; 4,860 mi) 3,800 nmi (7,040 km; 4,370 mi) 4,350 nmi (8,060 km; 5,010 mi)
Service ceiling 45,000 ft (13,700 m)
Engines (×2) Rolls-Royce Tay 611-8 Rolls-Royce Tay 611-8C
Thrust (×2) 13,850 lbf (61.6 kN)
Last updated November 25, 2011
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Gulfstream IV".
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