W.T. LARKINS COLLECTION
No. 12064. Grumman G-1159 VC-11A Gulfstream II (01) US Coast Guard
Photographed by W.T. Larkins

Grumman G-1159 VC-11A Gulfstream II

09/30/2013. Despite the fact that it shares a common name with its turboprop predecessor, the Grumman Gulfstream II was a completely new design launched in May 1965. Of similar size to the Gulfstream I, with seating for ten in a typical executive interior and up to nineteen in high-density layouts, the Gulfstream II was planned as an upmarket business jet offering the performance and range of (and greater comfort than) intercontinental airline jet transports.

Unusually, no prototype was built, the first aircraft, which flew on October 2, 1966 from Grumman's Bethpage, Long Island, factory, having been manufactured from production tooling. It was certificated by the US FAA on October 19, 1967 and the first customer deliveries began that December. With the Gulfstream II, non-stop transcontinental and intercontinental flights became possible, and significantly about 97% of all Gulfstream IIs have been sold to major international companies.

Under the designation VC-11A, the USCG acquired a single standard Gulfstream II in February 1969 as a high speed executive transport for use by the Commandant and the Secretary of Transportation, and their staff. Two other Gulfstream IIs were converted as flying simulators for the Space Shuttle Orbiter vehicle.

The first 82 Gulfstream IIs built had a lower gross weight than later models, and after 166 had been built the Rolls-Royce Spey turbofan engines were fitted with acoustic hush-kits to meet more stringent environmental regulations. In 1975 Grumman began a protracted test and certification program for the installation of wingtip tanks which increased fuel capacity and improved the range. A total of 256 Gulfstream IIs had been completed by January 1, 1980, by which time production had ended.

Additional photos 1 2 (site files)

Created September 30, 2013