- Product Support
- Product Enhancements
Customers Worldwide Benefit From Rapid-Response Unit
SAVANNAH, Ga., May 13, 2012 — Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. recently completed the 3,000th operator-assistance flight by its Field and Airborne Support Teams known as Gulfstream FAST. The mission milestone was achieved 10 years after Gulfstream launched the first-of-its-kind airborne maintenance and support service in May 2002.
Gulfstream FAST members can be dispatched by airplane, train, automobile or van to resolve maintenance issues for Gulfstream aircraft worldwide 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The team uses two dedicated aircraft to deliver flight-essential parts and/or technicians to operators whose aircraft are under warranty in North America, Central America and the Caribbean.
“Our aircraft have industry-leading dispatch reliability rates, but there are times when a failure occurs,” said Mark Burns, president, Gulfstream Product Support. “Gulfstream FAST minimizes the time a customer spends waiting for parts, repairs or technicians. It reduces return-to-service times for their aircraft, which means they can get back to using it as a productive business tool. FAST defines our commitment to the best possible customer service.”
Gulfstream has two G100s, eight pilots and 15 technicians dedicated to the FAST program. FAST also includes maintenance engineers in Europe — two in Geneva, Switzerland; one in Altenrhein, Switzerland; and one in Athens, Greece — and more than 20 mobile support vehicles throughout the U.S. and Europe.
In the case of airborne mission No. 3,000, FAST pilots Marilyn Whicker and Ademar Calligaro departed Savannah on March 24 to deliver an auxiliary power fuel control unit to a G550 at its home base, Southwest Regional Airport in Benton Harbor, Mich.
The airborne support element of FAST, formerly known as Airborne Product Support (APS), was created in 2002 after a study of transient operator destinations, home base locations and material requirements. A short-term pilot program confirmed the value and cost effectiveness of support delivered by aircraft. Research concluded that a Savannah-based G100, with its 2,950-nautical-mile-range and speed of Mach 0.84, would be the ideal aircraft to reach most airports in North America and the Caribbean without refueling. In situations where an operator’s jet is outside the G100’s range of service, Gulfstream will fly parts or technicians to a major airline hub, where they can connect to commercial flights to reach the customer’s aircraft.
“The primary objective of Gulfstream FAST is to ensure maximum availability of a customer’s aircraft,” Burns said. “Airborne support is one of the ways in which we do that.”
Behind-the-scenes logistical support for FAST includes personnel from several Gulfstream departments, such as Technical Operations, Flight Operations, Spare Part Sales and Field Service. FAST aircraft are easily identified by their livery, which includes the logos of many Gulfstream suppliers.
FAST has completed several noteworthy missions in its 10-year history of airborne support, including:
Of Gulfstream’s 3,000-plus FAST flights, more than 250 have been outside the continental United States. They include missions to Panama City, Bermuda, Barbados and Iqaluit, Canada.
NOTE TO EDITORS
Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), designs, develops, manufactures, markets, services and supports the world’s most technologically advanced business-jet aircraft. Gulfstream has produced more than 2,000 aircraft for customers around the world since 1958. To meet the diverse transportation needs of the future, Gulfstream offers a comprehensive fleet of aircraft, comprising the wide-cabin, high-speed Gulfstream G150®; the new large-cabin, mid-range Gulfstream G280®; the large-cabin, mid-range Gulfstream G350®; the large-cabin, long-range Gulfstream G450®; the large-cabin, ultra-long-range Gulfstream G500®; the large-cabin, ultra-long-range Gulfstream G550® and the ultra-large-cabin, ultra-long-range G650®. Gulfstream also offers aircraft ownership services via Gulfstream Pre-Owned Aircraft Sales®. The company employs more than 11,500 people at 11 major locations. We invite you to visit our website for more information and photos of Gulfstream aircraft at www.gulfstream.com.General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, employs approximately 93,000 people worldwide. The company is a market leader in business aviation; land and expeditionary combat systems, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and information systems and technologies. More information about the company is available on the Internet at www.generaldynamics.com.
Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), designs, develops, manufactures, markets, services and supports the world's most technologically-advanced business jet aircraft.