The G550 HALO, High Altitude and LOng Range Research Aircraft is based on a production G550 business jet from Gulfstream Aerospace Cooperation. This jet is operated by the Deutschen Zentrums für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V., Germany.
With its range of up to 8 000 kilometres and ceiling of 15.5 kilometres, this research aircraft can carry a scientific payload of up to three tonnes to areas above the ocean which could not be reached before, or to the polar regions.
Extensive modifications were needed to convert the G550, originally designed as a business jet, into a research aircraft. More than 20 additional apertures needed to be cut into the fuselage in order to accommodate optical viewports and inlet systems.
In order to prepare the aircraft for scientific service, modifications were made to the cabin allowing the installation of 15 equipment racks, each capable of accommodating scientific instruments weighing up to 150 kilogrammes. Additional hardpoints for mounting measuring probes and measuring devices are located underneath the fuselage and under the wings. German company Aerostruktur has developed and built special wing stores and belly pods to accommodate such instrumentation when needed.
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Dimensions: Length: 30.90 m; Height: 7.90 m; Wingspan: 28.50 m; Flying performances: Speed: Min speed: 92 m/s Max speed: 258 m/s Usual speed during measurements: 175 m/s Ascent rate: 10 m/s Altitude: (1 ft = 0.31 m) Min altitude: Above sea: 200 ft Above ground: 500 ft Max ceiling: 51000 ft Usual ceiling during measurements: 47000 ft Ceiling limitations: Data - Sheet EASA Airframe and Engine determined Payload: Empty weight: 22120 kg Max take-off weight: 41277 kg Max payload: 3000 kg Max scientific payload: 3000 kg ... (X-coordinate of 2nd point) Usual scientific payload during measurements: 1000 kg Scientific payload for max endurance: 1000 kg ... (X-coordinate of 1st point) Endurance: Max endurance: 13 h (at min scientific payload and max fuel) (Y-coordinate of 1st point) Endurance at max scientific payload: 11 h ... (Y-coordinate of 2nd point) Range: Conditions for max range: FL410 - FL510 stepclimb Mach 0.77 Other: Weather conditions limitations: VFR and IFR (generally in icing conditions) Take-off runway length: 1830 m Engines: Rolls Royce BR710 (2 x 15.385 lbs up to 30Â°C) ; Avionics: Honeywell Primus Epic Planview Crew and scientists on board: Crew (pilots + operators): 2 pilots for all operations; Seats available for scientists: up to max. 15 seats + 1 jumpseat Cabin: Length: 13,39 Width: 2,2 center fuselage Height: 1,9 Apertures: Maindoor: 1,52 x 0,88 / Baggagedoor 0,91 x 0,96 ; Cabin pressurized: Yes, equivalent 6.000ft cabin altitude at 51.000 diff.press. 10,17 psid Aircraft modifications: Nose boom: 1,5 m length in front of aircraft nose, made of CFK for carrying measuring probes Windows: 2 coverable viewports in the bottom and 2 on top of the fuselage with a diameter of 20" each. Openings: 10 apertures on top each 10 x 7" ; 2 apertures 10 x 14" ; bottom: 1 aperture 10 x 7" ; 9 apertures 10 x 7" Hard points: under the wings: 6 hardpoint stations (3 each wing) to carry loads up to 400 kg each. Inlets: possible: 12 upper, 10 lower fuselage possible on apertures and viewports Additionnal systems: not available, for the time being. Acquisition systems: TBD (under development) Electrical power: Aircraft total electrical power (kW): 115V/400Hz - 2 x 40 KW Electrical power (kW) and voltages (V) available for scientists: 2 x 20KW - 115V - 400Hz 3Phase ; 115V/400Hz each phase 20A fused ; 28V DC - 2 x 250A via TRU - fused on 20A and 50A sockets 230V/50Hz = 2 x 3,5KW