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The 10 Fastest Private Jets in the World

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Humans developed the need for speed long ago. From the days of horse-and-buggy transportation — when 60 miles per hour seemed impossible, dangerous and deadly — through to the breaking of the so-called ‘sound barrier,’ we have pursued a thirst for going ever faster. More than a half-century after a Bell X-1 rocket plane shuddered and shook its way through a newly discovered pressure wave with Captain Charles “Chuck” Yeager at the controls on October 14, 1947, it is the fastest private jets pushing speed boundaries.

Little did the pilot and observers know that the sonic boom that shattered the desert calm that morning also became the harbinger of doom for supersonic flight — at least over the continental US. First, Congress passed the Aircraft Noise Abatement Act of 1968. Acting under this authority, the FAA proposed a regulation to restrict the operation of civil aircraft at speeds greater than Mach 1, unless authorized by the FAA.

The regulation was finalized on March 28, 1973, but within aviation circles this was viewed as just a setback rather than a sunset for supersonic flight. Over the ensuing years, business aviation manufacturers continued to satisfy their clientele’s hunger for speed by offering aircraft capable of cruising within a cat’s whisker of Mach 1.

Here, we examine 10 of the fastest private jets, ideal for traveling in comfort and luxury while cruising miles above the Earth at nearly supersonic speed. These aircraft offer the fastest travel currently available. We also provide some hints about what’s next in the perpetual quest for supersonic flight. Waiting in the wings, if you will, are several developmental aircraft racing for the hangar door to demonstrate supersonic flight.

Unlike their predecessors, the modern-day aircraft designers of these machines intend to achieve their goals with little to none of the picture-frame-shattering sonic booms that brought an end to supersonic flight over the US. Welcome to the next step in the future of and the SSBJs — supersonic business jets — preparing to fly us beyond Mach 1.

Please note, Mach is a speed measurement based on the speed of sound. Since sound travels at different speeds in different conditions, the calculations here are based on Mach 1 = 741.09699 m

[See also: The Longest Range Private Jets]

Cessna Citation X+

Fastest Private Jets

The Cessna Citation X+

Price: $24m
Top speed: Mach 0.935
Max range: 3,460 nm
Max passengers: 12

Though no longer in production, the Citation X+ is hugely sought after on the secondhand market and is on record as the world’s fastest private jet. The FAA certified the Citation X in 1996 and pegged its maximum speed at Mach 0.935, or 717 miles per hour. Cessna introduced its second incarnation of the Citation X as the X+ (10-plus) in 2014, with improved interior accoutrements, improved seating and galley, an all-new avionics suite from Garmin and the G5000 system. This Cessna boasts a maximum range of 3,460 nautical miles. The X+ seats as many as 12, with extra-large, extra-cabin comfortable seating and a fully equipped galley.

Bombardier Global 6000

Fastest Private Jets

Bombardier Global 6000

Price: $73m
Top speed: Mach 0.89
Max range: 6,000 nm
Max passengers: 17

A large-cabin, long-range jet, the Global 6000 offers a comfortable space for 17 passengers, plus a crew of four — necessary for its 6,000-nautical mile range. Coupled with its impressive speed (its typical cruise speed is Mach 0.85), the 6000 offers excellent flexibility for its $73m price tag. Bombardier worked hard to keep this jet light for its size, with generous use of carbon fiber materials, which are responsible for the lightweight feel and a major contributor to its substantially improved fuel efficiency.

Bombardier Global 6500

Fastest Private Jets

The Gulfstream Global 6500 cockpit / ©Paul Bowen Photography

Price: $56m
Top speed: Mach 0.90
Max range: 6,600 nm
Max passengers: 17

Many aviation industry insiders consider this large-cabin business jet to be the most advanced and proficient long-range premium jet for long-distance travelers. In May 2018, Bombardier introduced the Global 6500, which entered service in 2019. This jet has an improved wing for a Mach 0.90 high speed. Its latest Rolls-Royce Pearl powerplants consume 13 percent less fuel burn for a range of 6,600 nautical miles and have reduced operating expenses.

Bombardier Global 7500

Fastest Private Jets

Bombardier Global 7500

Price: $73m
Top speed: Mach 0.925
Max range: 7,700 nm
Max passengers: 17

Joining the market in December 2018, this private workhorse boasts the highest flight speed of 710 mph, Mach 0.925, and an impressive range of 7,700 nautical miles. Its 54.5-ft cabin recently received a Red Dot Design Award and it is the first business jet to receive a third-party audited Environmental Product Declaration giving detailed information about its environmental footprint.

[See also: The Record-breaking Bombardier Global 7500 Takes Flight]

Bombardier Global 8000

Fastest Private Jets

Bombardier Global 8000

Price: $72m
Top speed: Mach 0.925
Max range: 7,900 nm
Max passengers: 17

Bombardier’s Global 8000 exceeded 650 mph during test flights, ensuring its place among the world’s fastest private aircraft. First entering service in December 2018, this jet also has an impressive range of 7,900 nautical miles. In addition to its top-leading range, the Global 8000 has a cabin with three individual suites, each designed to boost comfort and convenience. As with most jets in this class, the 8000 aircraft features a creative cabin custom-made to the specifications of the owner with quality to meet the demand of every customer.

Embraer Praetor 500

Embraer Praetor 500 / ©Embraer

Price: $16.995m
Top speed: Mach 0.83
Max range: 3,340 nm
Max passengers: 9

Embraer’s Praetor 500 is the farthest- and fastest-flying midsize jet on the market today and reaches a top speed of 615 miles per hour. It can transport nine passengers and has a six-ft-tall, flat-floor cabin with stone flooring. The cabin’s interior design, called Bossa Nova, is a reimagination of the beaches of Brazil, where Embraer’s headquarters is located; the silk-and-wool carpets mimic the waves of the sparkling ocean and the stitch pattern on the seats is inspired by the walkways of Ipanema Beach.

Dassault Falcon 7X and 8X

Dassault Falcon 7X / ©Dassault Falcon

7X from $55m
8X from $60m
Top speed: Mach 0.90
Max range: 5,950 nm / 6,450 nm
Max passengers: 16

Dassault’s Falcon 7X and the subsequent Falcon 8X offer a maximum speed of Mach 0.90. The expansive 43-ft-long cabin of the 8X offers space to seat up to 16 passengers and a range of more than 7,400 miles. Aside from their roomy cabins, these Falcons have the agility to fly the steep approaches into, and fast climbs out of, many airports like Lugano — runways off-limits to other big jets. The 8X offers a fuel efficiency advantage of about 30 percent over rivals, a result of aerodynamic improvements to the Falcon’s wing and the higher efficiency of updated Pratt & Whitney Canada PW300 powerplants.

Gulfstream G550

The Gulfstream G550 / ©Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Price: $57m
Top speed: Mach 0.885
Max range: 6,750 nm
Max passengers: 19

The two Rolls-Royce engines that power the Gulfstream G550 provide more thrust than any other jet in its class. Its Mach 0.885 speed means quick, no-fuss, city-to-city flights — giving passengers the speed to fly from Washington to Dubai or London to Tokyo without a single time-wasting stop. And the spacious G550 offers a comfortable ride; it can accommodate a total of 19 and can sleep as many as eight people. It can reach a maximum cruise altitude of 51,000 feet and has a reach of 6,750 nautical miles.

[See also: Inside the Record-breaking Gulfstream G700]

Gulfstream G650 and G650ER

The Gulfstream G650 / ©Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

G650 from $62m
G650ER from $67m
Top speed: Mach 0.925
Max range: 7,000 / 7,500 nm
Max passengers: 19

The long-range Gulfstream G650 and its longer-range variant, the G650ER, can reach the highest speeds of Mach 0.925 at, respectively, a nonstop range of 7,000 nautical miles and 7,500 nautical miles. In the real world, that means a westbound G650 can travel the planet in just over 41 hours. The G650ER has notched up 22 world records and over 110 world speed records. The jets, with their 47-ft-long cabins, offer a large, spacious interior with seating for 19 passengers and sleeping accommodations for as many as 10.

Fast forward back to supersonic: The future holds promise with revised restrictions

Consideration of the impact of sonic booms from supersonic flight preceded the development of the Concorde aircraft and the eventual ban on flying at Mach 1.0 or faster over the US. Those rules went into effect in the early 1970s. Jump ahead almost 50 years to today, and you’ll find the FAA already working on updated rules to help foster and accommodate the development, testing and operation of supersonic aircraft, all with an eye toward making the fastest private jets supersonic. The FAA’s rules and Congressional intent aside, the aerospace industry never stopped at the edge of supersonic. Now the Sun appears ready for a supersonic sunrise on the civil side of aviation, as new-generation dreamers and schemers pursue aircraft capable of achieving supersonic flight. But today’s developmental efforts include aircraft designed to fly without the accompanying sonic shock. Meet the leaders of this small pack pursuing supersonic flight for business and commercial aviation.

Boom Supersonic XB-1 Overture SST Demonstrator

Boom Supersonic XB-1 Overture / ©Boom Supersonic

Boom Supersonic reached a significant milestone in the firm’s development of with a virtual rollout on October 7, 2020 of the XB-1 demonstrator. It’s an important step in the company’s plans for the carbon-composite airliner. Powered by a trio of GE J85-15 engines, Boom will use the XB-1 as a one-third scale demonstrator to pave the way for its Mach 2.2, 55-passenger Overture SST. The announced rollout date came as the XB-1 demonstrator neared completion ahead of the start of ground tests later in 2020 followed by flight trials in 2021. Boom holds 30 pre-orders for the Overture from Japan Airlines (JAL) and Virgin Group. Boom expects Overture flights to focus on 500+ primarily transoceanic routes that benefit from supersonic speeds — city pairs such as New York/London and San Francisco/Tokyo. The aircraft’s design mitigates the sonic boom issue by cruising efficiently at subsonic speeds over land.

Spike Aerospace Spike S-512

Spike Aerospace Spike S-512 / ©Spike Aerospace

The Spike S-512 SSBJ is a sleek aircraft designed to cruise at Mach 1.6, a nearly 40 percent time savings over long flights. With seating for up to 18, the elegant S-512 has a 7,100-mile range and features Quiet Supersonic Flight technology, without the sonic boom effect. Instead of windows, the Boston-based company plans to deliver rich, full-color panoramic displays of the outside world in the main cabin; this technology will also be used to watch movies or presentations — right on the cabin wall. Spike’s S-512 is the only supersonic jet in active development that expects to fly at Mach 1.6 without the disruptive sonic boom effect that is prohibited globally, thanks to a low 75 Pldb sound level on the ground — like soft thunder.

Aerion AS2 SSBJ

Aerion AS2 SSBJ /©Aerion

With lofty goals of a zero carbon footprint, silent boomless operation and being 100 percent biofuel driven, Aerion’s AS2 is a Mach 1.4, 12-passenger aircraft expected to begin service in 2024. Its GE Affinity engine design mitigates the sonic boom issue, and its wing design is fuel efficient both above and below Mach 1, allowing operators to use the AS2’s high subsonic speed without suffering the range-limiting fuel consumption that plagued prior supersonic aircraft flying below the sound barrier. Look for the first flight of an AS2 in 2025 with entry into service in 2027.

[See also: The Most Exciting Private Jet Concepts]

The post The 10 Fastest Private Jets in the World appeared first on Elite Traveler.

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