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Gulfstream III

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Title: Gulfstream III  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Grumman Gulfstream II, Gulfstream Aerospace, Gulfstream G550, Gulfstream aircraft, Arthur Lichte
Collection: Gulfstream Aircraft, Twinjets, United States Business Aircraft 1980–1989
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Gulfstream III

Gulfstream III
C-20 Gulfstream III operated by the United States Navy
Role Business jet
Manufacturer Gulfstream Aerospace
First flight 2 December 1979[1]
Introduction 1980
Primary users United States
Produced 1979–1986
Number built 202
Unit cost
Developed from Grumman Gulfstream II
Variants Gulfstream IV/G400/G450

The Gulfstream III, a business jet produced by Gulfstream Aerospace, is an improved variant of the Grumman Gulfstream II.


  • Design and development 1
  • Variants 2
    • Civil variants 2.1
    • Military variants 2.2
  • Special Mission Variants 3
  • Operators 4
    • Military and government operators 4.1
  • Accidents and incidents 5
  • Specifications (Gulfstream III) 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Design and development

The Gulfstream III was built at Savannah, Georgia in the United States and was designed as an improved variant of the Grumman Gulfstream II. Design studies were performed by Grumman Aerospace Corporation in collaboration with Gulfstream American Corporation. Design of the Gulfstream III started with an effort to synthesize a completely new wing employing NASA supercritical airfoil sections and winglets. Optimization studies considering weight, drag, fuel volume, cost, and performance indicated that a substantial portion of the new wing benefit could be secured with modifications to the existing wing. As a result, the new wing concept was canceled and work began on design modifications that would retain the Gulfstream II wing box structure and trailing edge surfaces.[2] The inboard wing was extended in chord and recontoured, to reduce the aircraft's high-speed drag. The wing span was increased by six feet and five-foot winglets were added. In addition, the fuselage was lengthened by an additional two-foot section aft of the main door and the radome was extended and re-contoured. A new curved windscreen was incorporated, changes were made to the cockpit instruments and autopilot and the maximum take-off weight was increased. The aircraft received type approval from the American Federal Aviation Administration in September 1980.[3]

A total of 202 Gulfstream IIIs were built, with the last example built in 1986.[4]

In 2013, the FAA modified 14 CFR part 91 rules to prohibit the operation of jets weighing 75,000 pounds or less that are not stage 3 noise compliant after December 31, 2015. The Gulfstream III is listed explicitly in Federal Register 78 FR 39576. Any Gulfstream III's that have not been modified by installing Stage 3 noise compliant engines or have not had "hushkits" installed for non-compliant engines will not be permitted to fly in the contiguous 48 states after December 31, 2015. 14 CFR §91.883 Special flight authorizations for jet airplanes weighing 75,000 pounds or less - lists special flight authorizations that may be granted for operation after December 31, 2015.


Civil variants

Gulfstream III in 1981
  • Model G-1159A Gulfstream III - Two or three-crew executive, corporate transport aircraft.

Military variants

NOTE: United States Army C-20F and C-20J, United States Navy/United States Marine Corps C-20G, and United States Air Force C-20H aircraft are all Gulfstream IV variants

Special Mission Variants

A NASA Gulfstream C-20B (83-0502 cn 389) has been fitted with a centerline pylon to allow it to carry the UAVSAR pod.[9]

A NASA Gulfstream III (N992NA cn 309) has also been fitted with a centerline pylon to allow it to carry the AIRMOSS pod, a modification of the UAVSAR pod.[10]

The Phoenix Air Group operates two former Royal Danish Air Force SMA-3 aircraft (N173PA cn 313, N163PA cn 249) and a Gulfstream III (N186PA cn 317).[11] One aircraft provides airborne maritime range surveillance for the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and other Department of Defense range facilities using a high definition Texas Instruments APS-127 Surface Search Radar system.[12] All three are configured with a large cargo door. In 2008 Phoenix Air developed an Airborne Biomedical Containment System with the CDC. In 2014, the system was deployed during the Ebola virus epidemic in Liberia to fly 12 ebola missions to the United States.[13]

N30LX (cn 438) has been modified by the addition of a ventral canoe and sensor turret as the "Dragon Star" Airborne Multi-Intelligence Laboratory for use by Lockheed Martin.[14] This has been leased by Italy since 2012.[15]

Calspan operates N710CF (cn 448), which has been modified as an airborne test bed. Modifications include a centerline pylon [16] and a dorsal satcom radome [17]

Two Gulfstream IIIs, K2961 (cn 494) and K2962 (cn 495), equipped with long-range oblique photography cameras mounted in the fuselage, were delivered to the Indian Air Force.[18][19]


Military and government operators

Cockpit of a C-20A

Military and government operators of the Gulfstream III and C-20 include:

 Ivory Coast
 Saudi Arabia
 United States

Accidents and incidents

  • August 3, 1996 - Flew into mountain during final approach to Vagar Airport on Faroe Islands. The Gulfstream III (F-330) from RDAF - Royal Danish Air Force was destroyed killing all 9 people on board, including the Danish Chief of Defence Jørgen Garde.
  • March 29, 2001 - While trying to land at Aspen-Pitkin County Airport, an Avjet Gulfstream III crashed into a hill, killing all 18 people on board.

Specifications (Gulfstream III)

Data from Jane's Civil and Military Aircraft Upgrades 1994–95[4]

General characteristics


See also

Related development
Related lists


  1. ^ Taylor 1982, pp. 383–384.
  2. ^ Boppe, Charles W., "Computational Aerodynamic Design: X-29, the Gulfstream Series and a Tactical Fighter", SAE paper 851789, 1985 Wright Brothers Award Paper, presented at the Aerospace Technology Conference & Exposition, Long Beach California, October 1985.
  3. ^ Mead, Lawrence M., Coppi, Charles and Strakosch, John, A Case Study By Grumman Aerospace Corporation and Gulfstream American Corporation on the Gulfstream III, AIAA Professional Study Series, June 1980
  4. ^ a b Michell 1994, p. 313.
  5. ^ a b c d e Model Designation of Military Aerospace Vehicles, DoD 4120.15L, 2004-05-12
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ The United States Military Aviation Directory, AIRTime Publishing, Norwalk, CT, c2000, ISBN 978-1-880588-29-1
  9. ^ G-III UAVSAR Retrieved 31 July 2011.
  10. ^ UAVSAR Installed on JSC G-III for AirMOSS Study Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  11. ^ Full Details of Active Gulfstream IIIs Retrieved 31 July 2011.
  12. ^ 'Military Ops Range Clearing' Retrieved 31 July 2011.
  13. ^ Thomas A Horne (January 2015). "Mike Ott The Inside Story of a Ebola Evacuation Mission". AOPA Pilot: T-14. 
  14. ^ ;Enter The Dragon Retrieved 31 July 2011.
  15. ^ Kington, Tom (11 July 2015). "Italy Renews Lease on SIGINT Aircraft". (TEGNA). Retrieved 13 July 2015. 
  16. ^ N710CF with centerline pylon Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  17. ^ N710CF with satcom radome Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  18. ^ Picture of the Gulfstream Aerospace G-1159A Gulfstream III aircraft Retrieved 31 July 2011.
  19. ^ Picture of the Gulfstream Aerospace G-1159A Gulfstream III aircraft Retrieved 31 July 2011.
  20. ^ Schrøder, Hans (1991). "Royal Danish Airforce". Ed. Kay S. Nielsen. Tøjhusmuseet, 1991, p. 1–64. ISBN 87-89022-24-6.
  21. ^ aeroflight
  • Michell, Simon. Jane's Civil and Military Aircraft Upgrades 1994–95. Coulsdon, UK:Jane's Information Group, 1994. ISBN 0-7106-1208-7.
  • Taylor, John W. R. (editor). Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1982–83. London:Jane's Yearbooks, 1982. ISBN 0-7106-0748-2.

External links

  • Media related to at Wikimedia Commons
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