Gulfstream III

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

Gulfstream III
Class Aircraft
Type Transport
Manufacturer Gulfstream Aerospace
Production Period 1979 - 1986
Origin United States of America
Country Name Origin Year
United States of America 1979
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Algeria View
Cameroon View
Denmark View
Gabon View
Ghana View
India View
Ireland View
Italy View
Ivory Coast View
Mexico View
Morocco View
Oman (Muscat) View
Saudi Arabia View
Togo View
Uganda View
United States of America 1980 View
United States of America View
Venezuela View
Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Gulfstream Aerospace 1979 1986 202 View

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. 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.

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

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

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

Military variants

  •     C-20A - United States Air Force variant configured for 14 passengers and 5 crew; phased out of USAF service in 2002, one example transferred to NASA for use at the Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base as a test aircraft.
  •     C-20B - United States Air Force and United States Coast Guard variant with upgraded electronics, used for Operational Support Airlift (OSA) and Special Assignment Airlift Missions (SAAM); the single Coast Guard C-20B was used by the Commandant of the Coast Guard and other senior USCG officials as well as the Secretary of Homeland Security.
  •     C-20C - United States Air Force C-20B with upgraded and "hardened" secure communications, often utilized as backup aircraft accompanying the VC-25A aircraft when it is operating as Air Force One
  •     C-20D - United States Navy Operational Support Airlift (OSA) aircraft with modified communications equipment for use by the Navy, normally in support of high-ranking naval officials
  •     C-20E - Stretched fuselage/redesigned wing variant for use by the United States Army as an Operational Support Airlift (OSA) aircraft
  •     Gulfstream III SRA-1 - Special reconnaissance and surveillance version for export.
  •     Gulfstream III SMA-3 - Export model for Denmark, fitted with a Texas Instruments APS-127 search radar. Three maritime reconnaissance and patrol, fisheries protection, search and rescue, and VIP transport aircraft were built for the Royal Danish Air Force in 1983. No longer in service.

Role Business jet
Manufacturer Gulfstream Aerospace
First flight 2 December 1979
Introduction 1980
Primary users United States
Produced 1979–1986
Number built 202
Unit cost US$37M
Developed from Grumman Gulfstream II
Variants Gulfstream IV/G400/G450

General characteristics

  • Crew: Two or three
  • Capacity: 19 passengers (standard seating)
  • Length: 83 ft 1 in (25.32 m)
  • Wingspan: 77 ft 10 in (23.72 m)
  • Height: 24 ft 4½ in (7.43 m)
  • Wing area: 934.6 sq ft (86.83 m²)
  • Aspect ratio: 6.0:1
  • Empty weight: 38,000 lb (17,236 kg)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 69,700 lb (31,615 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Rolls-Royce Spey RB.163 Mk 511-8 Turbofan, 11,400 lbf (50.7 kN) each


  • Maximum speed: 576 mph (501 knots, 928 km/h) (max cruise)
  • Cruise speed: 508 mph (442 knots, 818 km/h) (long range cruise)
  • Stall speed: 121 mph (105 knots, 194 km/h)
  • Range: 4,200 mi (3,650 nmi, 6,760 km) (eight passengers, IFR reserves)
  • Service ceiling: 45,000 ft (13,716 m)
  • Rate of climb: 3,800 ft/min (19.3 m/s)

End notes