The Fastest private jets in the world
Aviation experts predict that the next decade will be a breakout period for fast jet travel, with supersonic business jets (SSBJs) set to revolutionize the world of private jet charter. Aircraft manufacturer Aerion is set to launch the world’s first SSBJ – the Aerion AS2 – by 2023, which could save a business flying 662 hours each year, with 34% of these flights international, 142 hours or three-and-a-half weeks per passenger. Here we take a look at the top 10 fastest private jets taking the world by storm.
Honorable Mention: X-59 QueSST
Lockheed Martin’s SR-71 Blackbird – a long-range, reconnaissance aircraft used by the U.S. Air Force between 1964 and 1998 – is still the world’s fastest jet at 3.3 Mach (2,200mph). Hot on its heels, however, is the company’s X-59 QueSST, which is being developed at a cost of $247.5 million and is set to bring civilians closer to supersonic travel than any other plane. The QueSST (short for Quiet Supersonic Technology) is also inspiring other private jet manufacturers like Cessna who are exploring supersonic and hypersonic flight in their future designs.Previous examples of supersonic civilian aircraft, such as Concorde and Tu-144, fell foul of high operation costs and dangerously loud sonic boom. Now researchers are
learning from the past by developing sustainable technology for supersonic aircraft, with NASA X-planes designed to overcome the problem of sonic boom – a crucial factor in reviving supersonic flight for civilians – by reaching a maximum speed of Mach 2.2 in relative silence.
Recent research suggests that shaping a supersonic aircraft to scatter the shockwaves produced when flying faster than the speed of sound can produce an almost indiscernible sonic boom, which has been described as no louder than “the sound of your neighbor forcefully shutting his car door outside while you are inside”.
The QueSST is expected to start flying over certain U.S. cities in 2022. If data gathered from the jet allows the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to establish new noise-related regulations that make it possible for commercial supersonic jets to fly cross-country over land, then it seems accessible and affordable supersonic flight is just around the corner.
10. Bombardier Challenger 650 (554mph)
The Bombardier Challenger 650 can fly 4,000 nautical miles at a top speed of 554mph and its steep approach certification allows this fast jet to access London City Airport and get in and out of challenging airports like Aspen and Lugano. It boasts a widest-in-class cabin that seats 12 passengers and its lowest direct operating costs make it the aircraft of choice for many corporate flight departments and private jet charter operators. The Challenger 650’s cockpit is equipped with nextgen technology and its cabin management system has one of the fastest in-flight internet connectivities worldwide, based on Ka-band technology.
9. Gulfstream G550
The Gulfstream G550 is powered by two Rolls Royce engines that provide more thrust than any other jet in its class. Its Mach 0.885 speed means fast, no-fuss, city-to-city flights – giving passengers the pleasure of flying from London to Tokyo or Washington to Dubai without a single time-wasting stop-over. And the spacious G550 is a comfortable ride, sleeping as many as eight people and able to accommodate a total of 19. Reaching altitudes of more than 42,000 feet and with a range of 6,750 nautical miles, the Gulfstream G550 secures its place in our top 10 fastest private jets in the world.
And Gulfstream is far from done when it comes to making fast jets faster. In May last year, they registered trademarks for the G1100 and G1200 with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Industry speculation is that these are monikers for a series of supersonic business jets.
8. Dassault Falcon 7X and 8X (594mph)
The Dassault Falcon 7X and the newer 8X can fly at Mach 0.90, bringing them close to the 600mph mark. The 8X’s 43-foot-long cabin can accommodate up to 14 passengers and fly non-stop for over 7,400 miles. These spacious planes are agile enough to make the steep descents into and fast climbs out of many airports that are off-limits to other large jets; while the 8X is around 35% more fuel-efficient than its competitors, thanks to wing design improvements and upgraded Pratt & Whitney Canada PW300 engines. Dassault recently secured a trademark for a 10X, which industry experts suspect might be a supersonic business jet in the making.
7. Gulfstream G650 and G650ER (594mph and 610mph)
The ultra-long-range G650 and its even longer-range variant, the G650ER, can reach maximum speeds of Mach 0.925 with a non-stop range of 8,055 and 8,631 miles respectively. In practical terms, this means a west-flying G650 can circumnavigate the globe in just over 41 hours. In fact, these fast private jets have already set 22 city-pair speed records. They offer seating for 18 passengers and the 47-foot-long cabin can sleep up to 10 passengers.
6. Gulfstream G500 and G600 (610mph)
The G500 and longer-range G600 have the same maximum operating speed as the G650 – Mach 0.925. The G500 can be flown more than 5,750 miles non-stop, while the G600 has a flight range of 7,130 miles. These private jets seat up to 19 passengers in a cabin that’s 8ft wide and 6ft 4in tall. The G500’s cabin is 41ft 6in long and the G600’s just over 45ft long.
5. Bombardier Global 7500 and 8000 (610mph)
According to Bombardier, the Global 7000 flew faster than 650mph during testing – the largest business jet to reach this speed, securing its place as one of the fastest private jets in the world. Entering the market in December 2018, this luxury private plane has a maximum operating speed of 610mph – Mach 0.925 – and an impressive range of 7,700 nautical miles. Its cabin of more than 54ft recently won a Red Dot Design Award. The Global 8000 will have an extended range of 7,900 nautical miles and is expected to launch in 2019.
4. Cessna Citation X+ (610mph)
The Cessna Citation X+ is Cessna’s direct response to customers who wanted a faster Citation model – and they certainly delivered; this impressive aircraft has a maximum operating speed of Mach 0.935, thanks to two dual-channel FADEC-controlled Rolls-Royce AE3007C2 turbo fan engines. Speed like this will cost you around $23 million if you want to purchase the aircraft.
3. Dassault Falcon 900B (644mph)
The Dassault Falcon 900 has a top speed of Mach 0.84 and a range of 4,598 miles. The 19-passenger, French-built 900B business jet features improved engines, increased range and an S-duct central engine. An intelligent combination of fuselage materials (including Kevlar, carbon fiber and titanium) means this light jet weighs far less than other twinjets in its class, resulting in superior fuel economy.
2. Bombardier Global 6000 and 6500 (590mph and 690mph)
The Global 6000, previously known as the Global Express XRS, has a higher cruise speed, increased range and improved cabin layout and lighting than its predecessors. Its increased range is the result of an additional 1,486lbs fuel tank at the wing root.
According to Bombardier, it takes 15 minutes less to fuel the Global 6000 than the original model thanks to upgraded computer systems and mechanical improvements. This private plane is considered by many to be the most advanced and accomplished long-range premium jet built for the most demanding travelers and passages.
In May 2018, Bombardier unveiled the Global 6500, which is expected to enter service at the end of 2019. This jet has an enhanced wing for a Mach 0.90 top speed. Its new Rolls-Royce Pearl engines deliver up to 13 percent lower fuel burn for better operating costs and a range of 6,600 nautical miles, with nine percent more thrust. The Global 6500 has a ticket price of $56 million.
1. Aerion AS2 (1000mph)
Still in development, this 12-passenger private jet is expected to break the mould of private air travel. A prototype flight date is due early in 2019, with plans to certify the aircraft in 2021. The Aerion AS2 is expected to achieve a maximum speed Mach of 1.6, which is a staggering 1,217mph and takes care of a London to New York flight in less than three hours. Until FAA laws prohibiting supersonic flight over the US are changed, the aircraft will have to travel at about 754mph once it crosses into U.S. airspace, but will be able to fully stretch its legs overseas.
In its quest to take business jet travel farther than it’s ever been, Aerion will build five flight test vehicles on its journey to certification in 2025. The company recently signed an engine partnership with GE Aviation and an engineering partnership with Lockheed Martin Skunk Works.
Your ticket to the fastest private jets in the world
If you’d like to experience the joy of flying on a fast private jet, let ACS organise your private jet charter. Whether your aim is to shave those time-is-money hours off your next business trip or you’d rather enjoy the comfort, convenience and flexibility that private jet charter can offer you as a tourist, speak to our team who will take you through your options.