Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation is a producer of several models of jet aircraft. Gulfstream has been a unit of General Dynamics since 2001.
Gulfstream's main facility is located in Savannah, Georgia, United States. Other facilities are located throughout the United States, including Appleton, Brunswick, Dallas, Las Vegas, Long Beach, Minneapolis, Washington, D.C., Westfield, and West Palm Beach. Gulfstream currently operates two facilities outside the United States, one in Luton, England and the other in Mexicali, Mexico.
A number of Gulfstream facilities several are partnered with GDAS (General Dynamics Aviation Services) sites, namely Dallas, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Westfield, and West Palm Beach.
The company has produced more than 1,500 aircraft for corporate, government, private, and military customers around the world. More than one-quarter of Fortune 500 companies operate Gulfstream aircraft.
The Gulfstream brand first appeared in 1957, when Grumman Aircraft Engineering Co. completed the design for the turboprop-driven Gulfstream I, Grumman's first marketable business aircraft; up until this point Grumman was primarily known for its military aircraft production. The Gulfstream I, which had its maiden flight on August 14, 1958, was so successful that Grumman developed a jet-powered corporate aircraft, the Gulfstream II.
In 1967, Grumman separated its civil and military divisions, and moved the Gulfstream corporate jet operation to Savannah. The new facility, located at the Savannah airport, housed both production and flight testing for the Gulfstream II, with a 100-person workforce. By the end of 1968, employment had grown to over 1,000.
In 1969, the 200th and last Gulfstream I was delivered. Production of the Gulfstream II increased throughout the 1970s until the 256th and final aircraft was delivered in 1977.
In 1978, Grumman sold the Gulfstream aircraft line and all operations in Savannah to American Jet Industries, headed by Allen Paulson. Paulson became CEO, and renamed the company Gulfstream America. Paulson pushed heavily for the development of the Gulfstream III, which had its first flight in 1979. The purchase of Rockwell's Aero Commander program completed the formation of the new Gulfstream Aerospace.
The Savannah facility grew to employ 2,500 people by 1982, when the company's name was changed to Gulfstream Aerospace Corp.
On April 8, 1983, Gulfstream stock was offered publicly for the first time. The company debuted on the Fortune 500 list at No. 417 in 1985, and that same year Chrysler acquired Gulfstream as part of its drive for diversification. In 1989, however, Paulson teamed up with Forstmann Little & Co. to buy the company back for $825 million.
The company continued to grow throughout the 1990s, signing a five-year contract with NetJets in 1994. In 1995 Gulfstream introducedthe Gulfstream V, and two years later, began to produce the Gulfstream IV-SP alongside the Gulfstream V.
In 1999, General Dynamics made a $5 billion bid for Gulfstream, and the acquisition was approved by the shareholders.
In 2001 Gulfstream acquired Galaxy Aerospace and rebranded Galaxy's then-current aircraft model line. The mid-size Astra SPX was named the G100 and the super mid-size Galaxy became the G200. The following year the company rebranded all its products using arabic numerals: the Gulfstream V became the G550m, while the Gulfstream IV was branded G300 and the Gulfstream IV-SP was renamed the G400.
In 2003 the Gulfstream 450 was introduced as the replacement for the G400. Responding to the economic downturn following September 11, 2001 attacks Gulfstream laid off 1,000 employees and closed the manufacturing facility in Savannah from four weeks, from June 30 to July 27, 2003.
In 2004 Gulfstream was awarded the Collier Trophy for the development of the G550. The G550 is the first civil aircraft to include a Enhanced Vision System (FLIR) as standard equipment. In March of the same year the G350, a short-range version of the G450, was introduced.
In 2005 Gulfstream became the first business-jet manufacturer to offer an in-flight, ultra-high-speed internet connection, dubbed BBML (Broad-Band Multi-Link). In partnership with Lockheed-Martin and NASA, Gulfstream developed and patented the Quiet Spike, a telescopic nose device to reduce the sonic boom cause by an aircraft breaking the sound barrier.
In 2006 the 22-year production run of the G100 ended, and the G150 entered service to take its place. Gulfstream also announced an expansion of its Savannah plant: the seven-year, $400-million plan includes a new sales and design center, a 625,000-square-foot (58,100 m2) service center and the creation of more than 1,100 new jobs.
As of 2008, Gulfstream currently produces six models of private aircraft:
- G150 - based on the IAI Astra SPX.
- G200 - based on the IAI Galaxy.
- G250 - new mid-cabin business jet.
- G350/G450 - based upon the Gulfstream IV-SP.
- G500/G550 - based upon the Gulfstream V.
- G650 - new wide-cabin business jet.
- Grumman Gulfstream I - twin-turboprop business aircraft
- Grumman Gulfstream II - twin-engine business jet
- Gulfstream III - twin-engine business jet
- Gulfstream IV - twin-engine business jet
- Gulfstream V - twin-engine business jet