The Gulfstream G650 is the most sensational private plane on the planet- but if you want one, you’ll have to wait.
O prah Winfrey may be thinking about trading in her Bombardier Global Express. Jackie Chan may want to give the heave-ho to his Embraer Legacy 650, and Tom Cruise may be considering a new Gulfstream to replace his G450. There’s a new plane that has private jet owners salivating and eagerly signing up on a wait list, despite a backlog that extends to 2017. Its price tag is a hefty $65 million, but there’s no doubting, it’s the best that money can buy.
“The G650 has been the most successful business jet introduction in the industry. It flies faster and farther than any other business jet, has the largest and quietest cabin, and includes the latest technologies,” says Steve Cass, vice president, communications at Gulfstream Aerospace.
At its maximum takeoff weight, the Gulfstream G650 can climb to 51,000 feet — above bad weather and congested commercial jet routes — in just 22 minutes. With two Rolls Royce engines, the plane travels at nearly the speed of sound, and is much faster than commercial jets. A top speed of Mach .925 or 704 mph makes it the fastest certified civilian aircraft. The aircraft has a range of 7,000 nautical miles, which means it can easily go from Los Angeles to Tokyo and still have fuel left over — plus, make quicker time.
Inside the cabin, there’s plenty of room as comfort figures prominently into the G650. Buyers choose from 12 different floor plans, and can customize the interior look of their planes. The floor plans allow for custom configurations, too, with the ability to accommodate up to 19 passengers.
There’s no need to lift a finger either on the Gulfstream 650 — everything in the cabin can be controlled with a built in iPhone app — from the large HD televisions to the soothing console lighting and automatic opening and closing of the shades. Top-grade leather chairs swivel and luxury foot rests extend; plus, the seats are wider than even the best in first class. If you really want to stretch out, the chairs, of course, lie flat for sleeping. Those choosing the stateroom layout get a fold-down double bed and a pop-up 26-inch television.
Luxury is in the air as well, as the G650’s structure and engines are designed so that the cabin can be pressured to a higher level than normal. The result is that passengers feel like they’re breathing at an altitude of 3,000 to 4,000 feet — not at 8,000 feet like on commercial jets. That makes flying less tiring and more comfortable. The higher pressure also creates a quieter cabin for easier conversation — no shouting over the whir of the engines and deafening interior noises. Yes, money can buy quiet.
The cockpit is more spacecraft than airplane. An infrared camera projects a “real world” image for the pilot on a display — so the Captain can clearly see a mountain range, runway, or vehicles on the taxiways in dense fog or the blackest night.
THE FIRST PERSON IN LINE FOR THE BIG G?
Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop founder Preston Henn put down $1 million in April 2012. The 100-foot long jet arrived at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport on Dec. 27, 2012. Steve Wynn got one, too. At last count, there was an order book of about 200 customers. The rest of us will just have to wait.