Have you ever wanted to fly anywhere in the world on your own schedule? How about avoiding a busy airport, delayed flights, and the dreaded security line? Most importantly, do you want to have privacy and ensure that your luggage is safe and sound? If you have the cash flow and travel more than 400 hours a year, then seriously consider owning a private jet.
Before you make a decision, keep in mind that apart from paying for the jet upfront, there are major expenses associated with ownership. Consider the insurance, maintenance, hangar fees, fuel (most expensive), pilots and their training, among other factors. Depending on the flight, it can cost upwards of $20,000+ per hour in operating fees; basically, budget $10 million per year to manage your private jet.
It is also recommended to hire an aircraft broker and a lawyer to help you decide on a jet and also mitigate any risks. Much like a car, jets lose value over time. Another option is partial ownership, starting your own charter service, or renting a jet through a private membership site like JetSmarter.com.
According to Honeywell’s 2015 Aviation Outlook, 9,200 aircrafts, worth $270 billion are projected for delivery through 2025. More than half of new purchase plans will be large cabin jets, and 61 percent of sales originate in North America.
If that excites you, here are the 15 most affordable private jets – prices are in US dollars.
15. Eclipse 400 – $1.2 million
The single-jet powered Eclipse 400, a Very Light Private Jet (VLPJ) can fly a typical distance of 1,256 nautical miles (1 nautical mile= 1.15 miles or 1.852 kilometres) and can reach a max cruise speed of 380 mph with only four passengers – one being the pilot. Plus, the interior looks and feels like a sports car. The average fuel cost for the 400 is $0.96/nautical mile, plus a $6 cost per gallon of jet fuel. To give you an example, the distance from Los Angeles (LAX) to New York (JFK) is 2,148 nautical miles, so expect to pay over $12,000 in fuel costs alone. Is it worth it?
14. Maverick SoloJET – $1.25 million
Maverick SoloJET, the world’s fastest private jet, can climb up 8000ft/min (reaching its cruising altitude in roughly four minutes!) The sleek single engine jet has a range of 1,200 nautical miles. Surprisingly enough, there is room for five passengers in this small, yet cozy cabin. Fuel costs average $1.50 nautical mile. Compared to the average VLPJ, the Maverick SoloJET can cruise at a maximum speed of 403 mph, 40 percent faster than other VLPJs. Affordability and performance would be two words to describe the SoloJET – what are you waiting for?
13. Stratos 714 – $2.5 million
Designed to meet and exceed the need for speed, the Stratos 714 has a 1500 nautical mile range. It is powered by a single Pratt & Whitney JT15D-5 engine, which generates 2,900 pounds of takeoff thrust, maxing out at a speed of 477 mph. No other four-seat jet can compare. The first flight was in November 2016 and the craft is is currently under development. Stratos is not accepting orders at the moment; however, potential customers can register on the website for updates. It is expected that some jets will be released in 2020.
12. Adam A700 – $2.25 million
Although Adam Aircraft Industries filed for bankruptcy in 2008, the A700 continues to live on. It’s quite challenging for startups to succeed in this industry, especially determining certifications. The captivating design separates itself from the other VLPJs; the fuselage and horizontal stabilizers near the rear engines support the straight tapered wings. It can fly 1,400 nautical miles and can reach an altitude of 41,000 feet in 16 minutes. Cruise speed is 449 mph, 15 percent lower than the average VLPJ.
11. Spectrum S.33 – $3.95 million
Spectrum Aeronautical designed the S-33 with carbon fibre and Williams FJ-33 engines. It is designed to cruise up to 45,000 feet in nine minutes (the highest of VLPJs) at a max speed of 489 mph. The S-33 is also the VLPJ with the most range, 2,000 nautical miles. It climbs a little lower than the Maverick, but above average at 5,000 feet per minute. Between five to seven passengers plus the pilot, this is the jet is very comfortable and can take you from point A to point B very quickly. Only one S-33 was built in 2006; engineers are continuing to develop the next model.
10. Cessna Citation Mustang 510 – $3.28 million
Setting an industry standard as a high performance VLPJ, Cessna’s Citation Mustang swept wing monoplane design flies at a shorter range, 1,200 nautical miles, and can cruise up to 41,000 feet. The maximum speed is 483 mph. Typically four passengers can fit comfortably in the 4.49 feet high cabin. Fuel prices average $1.93 per nautical mile. Individual owners operate more than half of the produced fleet, although third party jet rental companies, such as PrivateFly, have a lot of success in rentals. Over 400 Mustangs are operating internationally; it goes to show buyers prefer quality to quantity.
9. Embraer Phenom 100E – $4.4 million
Six-time winner of Robb Report’s “Best of the Best Business Jet” award, the Phenom 100 not only has low operating costs, it is the reliability and quality that distinguishes Embraer from the competition. The Phenom’s fuel cost average is $0.56 per nautical mile, saving more than half from other VLPJs. A shorter range at 1,178 nautical miles, the jet has the capacity to reach a cruise speed of 449 mph. Four to seven passengers can comfortably sit in the deluxe cabin, admire the comfortable and ergonomic interior, and make use of the extended baggage compartment.
8. Honda HA-420 HondaJet – $4.5 million
HondaJet, another VLPJ, has two over-the-wing mount GE Honda Aero Engines, which produce 1,997 pounds of thrust, enabling a max fly of 1,400 nautical miles and a cruise of 43,000 ft, 2,000 ft higher than most VLJs. With the high altitude and low speed, it’s five percent more fuel efficient. The extensive service and dealer network provides top-notch support and facilities, thanks in part to the credibility of the Honda brand. Another benefit of having the engines mounted on the wings: more room to put your feet up and a large luggage compartment. Honda will be releasing 100 more jets this year.
7. Piaggio P-180 Avanti – $7.395 million
Italian executive aircraft manufacturer Piaggio created the sleek Avanti with twin-turboprop engines that are located behind the cabin. The design is based on traits from different airplane categories, making it simple, beautiful, and unique.
The Avanti flies at 1,470 nautical miles (and can cruise up to 41,000 feet). The maximum speed is 395 knots or 454 mph. Fuel prices average $1.02/nautical mile, or more. In fuel costs alone, you’re looking around $13,000 per trip. Six passengers can fit comfortably in the cabin. We suggest the Piaggio Avanti if you’re looking for a trendy design that combines class with comfort.
6. Bombardier Learjet 45XR – $13.209 million
The “Swiss Army Knife of Jets,” the Lear 45XR is one of Bombardier’s best mid-size jets that integrates new technology with older designs. Various military and civilian operators from around the world trust in the brand, due to the upgrades and value. It can fly 2,049 nautical miles, cruise at 51,000 feet and can reach up to 518 mph. The fuel cost is $2.65 per nautical mile, 26 percent higher than the average. The fully functional cabin holds eight seats with room to move around so passengers do not feel claustrophobic; it makes a difference, wouldn’t you agree?
5. Beechcraft Hawker 900XP – $14.5 million
A mid-size twin-engine aircraft, all aspects of performance from takeoff to cruise speed have improved over the years, including a reduction in operating costs. Due to the efficiency of the Honeywell engines, there is a longer life span that allows an increased cruise speed of 534 mph and a climb of 2,000 feet per minute. The $14.5 million 900XP is surprisingly 24 percent cheaper than the average mid-size jet. The cabin is referred to as a ‘conference room in the sky’ for its combination of size, speed, and comfort. The Hawker is trustworthy with its long history of durability and evolutionary performance improvement.
4. Cessna Citation Sovereign – $18 million
Used for primarily corporate travel, the Sovereign is a visionary for visionary travellers. A transcontinental mid-size business jet with two turbofan engines, its specialty: taking off and landing in short distances due to the increased wingspan and specialty winglets. The range is 2,664 nautical miles and can cruise upwards of 47,000 ft, reaching a maximum altitude in 23 minutes. The biggest upgrade is its flight deck and cockpit with fibre-optic technology, new LED-based lighting, and integrated control units in the cabins. Don’t miss the chance to travel in comfort and optimize your workspace in this bold, intriguing aircraft.
3. Bombardier Challenger 650 – $32.35 million
The Bombardier Challenger series is not only used for businesses, many government and military operators, such as the Royal Canadian Air Force have all used the Challenger. Each new model gets released with major upgrades. The CL-650 includes a redesigned cabin, flight deck, and a five percent increase of takeoff thrust, compared to the CL-605. The CL-650 can fly 4,000 nautical miles (36 percent higher than the average), cruise at 41,000 feet and can reach a max speed of 520 mph. A one-way trip from JFK to LAX will cost you around $45,000 or more on fuel, so be prepared!
2. Dassault Falcon 900LX – $37 million
French manufactured Dassault offers best-in-class performance, comfort, and efficiency with the Falcon 900LX. This large private jet has a shorter range of 4,750 nautical miles, and can cruise at 51,000 ft. It takes only 20 minutes to reach that altitude! Max speed is 528 mph – it truly is a ‘bird of prey.’ With fuel to spare, it can fly from New York to Moscow and can comfortably accommodate 12 passengers in three separate areas. The Falcon 900LX was named Robb Report’s Best of the Best in 2015 with its latest avionics and aerodynamic technology.
1. Bombardier Global 6000 – $62.31 million
Formally known as the Global Express XRS, the Global 6000 offers a high cruise speed of 560 mph, Mach 0.89, and an increased range of 6,000 nautical miles. Want to fly from JFK to Tokyo? No problem. It takes approximately 15 minutes to reach a max altitude of 51,000 feet. This jet is perfect if you need to take between 10-18 people overseas for business meetings with the option to get a good night’s sleep – international comfort. The details in the cabin have been designed for fast Internet connectivity, adjustable temperatures and soundproofing for exceptional service and a flying experience you will never forget.
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