Taking a commercial air flight can be such a hassle. You have to get to the airport several hours in advance, wait at a busy terminal, risk losing your luggage (which happens at the most inopportune time), go through all the requisite immigration and custom checks, and then sit through the flight in an uncomfortable chair beside an annoying passenger who would not stop talking. There is also the additional risk of missing the flight, or flight delays and even cancellations. For some rich people, these are more than enough reasons to buy their very own aircraft. And you cannot blame them. If you have the money to spare, owning a plane is a very good investment.
But which plane should you choose? Here is a list of the top ten most expensive private jets in the world.
1. Airbus A380 – more than $300 million
This plane has a wide body, two decks and four engines. The upper deck stretches along the entire length of the fuselage, and its width is equivalent to that of a wide body aircraft. The cabin has 478 square meters of floor space. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a billionaire from Saudi Arabia, is the owner of this kind of jet.
2. Boeing 747-8I VIP – $153 million
This wide body jet aircraft is a fourth generation version of the 747. It features an extended fuselage, redesigned wings and much better efficiency compared to the previous versions. It is one of the longest aircrafts of its kind. Joseph Lau, the Hong Kong real estate tycoon uses this as his private service.
3. Boeing 767 – $118 million
The Boeing 767 is also a wide body aircraft, albeit smaller than the 747. It has twin turbofan engines, a conventional tail and a unique wing designed to reduce aerodynamic drag. It can fly up to 6,385 nautical miles. You may see a private 767 flying over London because this is the plane being used by the Chelsea owner and Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. Larry Page and Serge Brin also have this.
4. Airbus 319 Corporate Jet – $80.7
The A319 CJ has removable extra fuel tanks installed in the cargo area. It also boasts of an increased service ceiling of 41,000 feet. The standard four auxiliary tanks are already capable of carrying the aircraft up to 6,000 nautical miles, and the distance is considerably increased because of the extra tankers. It can be configured based on the customer’s specifications, but standard design calls for a maximum of eight passengers.
5. Gulfstream G550 – $59.9 million
The G550 has a range of 6,750 nautical miles. It features a design that is aerodynamically friendly. It also has the capability of landing even in low visibility conditions because of the plane’s Enhanced Vision System, or EVS. This is the preferred ride of UK-based billionaires Lakshmi Mittal and Philip Green.
6. Boeing Business Jet – $55.5 million
The Boeing Business Jet is actually the same as a 737 commercial plane, but modified for private jet use. It features blended winglets that allow additional fuel economy equivalent to a five to seven percent improvement. It also has a self-contained air stairs that can be used at airports that only have a limited ground crew support. Additional fuel tanks have also been fitted in to allow intercontinental travel.
7. Bombardier BD-700 Global Express – $47.7 million
This plane has a capacity of 19 passengers and has a range of close to 5,000 nautical miles cruising at a speed of Mach 0.80. It can go as high up as Mach 0.89 for a trip length lasting two and a half hours. The plane has a full galley and two lavatories. All seats are fully berthed, and the plane also has a lounge that can also serve as a bedroom. Bill Gates owns one of these planes.
8. Dassault Falcon 7X – $41 million
This plane boasts of a large cabin and is capable of long-range flights. It utilizes an S-duct central engine, and is one of only two trijets in production. It is considered as the first fly by wire business jet and is equipped with the Honeywell Primus EPIC Enhanced Avionics System, or EASy. The design was done entirely on a virtual platform using the company’s own computer aided design software called Dassault Systems’ CATIA and PLM products.
9. Embraer Lineage 1000 – $40.95 million
This Brazilian plane has been advertised as the ultra large business jet. It can comfortably seat 19 passengers. The plane has been fitted with additional fuel tanks in the lower deck cargo area, thus allowing it to travel a greater distance equivalent to almost double the plane’s normal range. The interior is lavishly designed and can be divided into five sections, including a bathroom with actual running water and a walk in cargo area at the back. At the customer’s request, a bedroom may also be erected. The Lineage 1000 also boasts of a large fuselage cross section, which is bigger than other comparable business jets. A proud owner of this plane is Jorge Vergara, the Chairman of Grupo Omnilife and the owner of the Chivas of Guadalajara football team in the Mexican league.
10. Dassault Falcon 900 – more than $33 million
Along with the Dassault Falcon 7X (number 8 on this list), the two Dassault planes are the only trijets in current production. It also features an S-duct central engine. The design of the Falcon 900 also incorporates composite materials. Several updated versions have since been released, including the Falcon 900B that had better engines and longer range. This was eventually replaced by the Falcon 900C. There is also a Falcon 900EX that has further improvements in engine performance and distance covered. A Falcon 900EX EASy and Falcon 900DX have also been released. Sergio Mantegazza, a Swiss billionaire who is also the president of the Swiss tour company called Globus & Cosmos, is an owner of the Falcon 900.