Private Jets in the 21st Century

Technology leaps forward

There have been incredible advances in the technology used in private jets, or business jets as they are commonly called now.   The newer generations of these beautiful aircraft are far quieter and more fuel efficient than their predecessors.   They provide improved ventilation and air quality for passengers.  And the passenger cabin technologies now include email, fax, high-speed access to the Internet, cell phone and BlackBerry use, Blu-Ray DVD, high-definition video monitors, and iPod docking stations for productivity and entertainment. 

The most startling advances have been made in the cockpit.  The 21st Century business jet features EFIS (electronic flight instrument systems) otherwise termed a  "glass cockpit" for digital navigation, communication, and management of flight control systems and engines;  GPWS (ground proximity warning system) that alerts the crew if the aircraft is in danger of hitting the ground;  and TCAS (traffic collision avoidance system) that detects other aircraft that may be nearby. 

There are many models of business jets to choose from but I will present a few examples in this article for your perusal that stand out in my mind as exceptional machines.  My hope is that you will enjoy this tour de force as much as I enjoyed preparing this presentation.

Learjet 45

The Learjet 45 costs over $10M and seats up to nine passengers.  It has a range of 2400 miles and cruises at 525 miles per hour.

Learjet 45
Learjet 45
Learjet 45 passenger cabin
Learjet 45 passenger cabin
Learjet 45 cockpit
Learjet 45 cockpit

Citation X

The Citation X is the fastest of all business jets topping out at 703 miles per hour. This luxury aircraft is priced at over $20M. It can fly approximately 3700 miles without refueling and configured with between eight and twelve seats in the cabin.

Citation X
Citation X
Citation X passenger cabin
Citation X passenger cabin
Citation X cockpit
Citation X cockpit

Falcon 7X

The Falcon 7X has three engines.  Generally, it will have twelve passenger seating.  This aircraft has a cruise speed of 559 miles per hour with a range of nearly 6000 miles.

Falcon 7X
Falcon 7X
Falcon 7X passenger cabin
Falcon 7X passenger cabin
Falcon 7X cockpit
Falcon 7X cockpit

BBJ

The Boeing Business Jet is the largest of the aircraft I am presenting for your viewing pleasure. The interior may be customized to carry as many as 63 passengers—or as few as eight (obviously with plenty of room to spread out and including a kitchen and a bedroom). The BBJ can travel 7000 miles without a fuel stop at around 528 miles per hour. They run about $50M.

BBJ
BBJ
BBJ passenger cabin
BBJ passenger cabin
BBJ cockpit
BBJ cockpit
Gulfstream 650
Gulfstream 650
GULFSTREAM G650 COCKPIT
GULFSTREAM G650 COCKPIT

Gulfstream 650

The new Gulfstream 650 is a magnificent flying machine.  They usually hold eighteen passengers.  This aircraft cruises at 562 miles per hour with a range of 7000 miles.  The price tag?  Sixty-five million dollars.

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Comments 43 comments

Douglas D. Schumann 7 years ago

Great photos, James and interesting facts.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Mr. Schumann— Thank you very much. Coming from you— a man who owns a private jet; is a certified jet aircraft pilot; and runs marathons—this is high praise indeed!


Arch Dynamics 7 years ago

Another of many fascinating articles, Mr. Watkins - even more so now knowing that the 650 should be the new ne plus ultra. Everyone I know aspiring to wealth is still stuck on the old G-V as the standard ... now I have an excuse to call them and let them know we have a new benchmark.

Ahh ... keeping up with the Joneses never seems to get easier. And, of course it runs on solar power and rainbow-colored thoughts per the new administrations dictates, does it not?


Kushal Poddar profile image

Kushal Poddar 7 years ago from Kolkata,India

Very interesting


ESTAN FULLER 7 years ago

Hi James; I wish I had a job again flying one of these birds!! Estan Fuller


John C. Thorman 7 years ago

Great job James and great photos too.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Arch Dynamics— Oh, but it is all ostentatiousness! Thank you my friend for enlivening the conversation.  And yea, these birds are way green.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Kushal Poddar— Thank you, my poetic friend.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Captain Fuller— What a pleasure to hear from you. I think the left seat of that 650 has your name on it.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Mr. C. Thorman— Thank you.  It means a lot coming from you because I have seen a website you built and it is magnificent. 


IslandVoice profile image

IslandVoice 7 years ago from Hawaii

Your fascination for these jets is understandable. If i had the means i would own one. I had the pleasure of being flown in one of these, after a Polo game, when when i had to rush back for an impt meet. It was great! Btw, we used to fuel these 'toys' back in the 90's, when we were servicing gen av. My husband(d) used to fly small planes.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

IslandVoice— Nice to hear from you! Thanks for reading and leaving your note. My dad and one of my brothers are business jet captains. So, you used to have an FBO?


lefseriver profile image

lefseriver 7 years ago from Northern Minnesota

One guy said he never flew because it was in the Bible. A pilot asked him what he meant.  The guy replied, "Jesus said, Low I am with you always."  :) Great photos and article.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

lefseriver— HA! That's funny. Thanks for the kudos and the note!


eovery profile image

eovery 7 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

Love your hu b. I just wish I had the means to fly.

Keep on Hubbing!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

eovery— I'm glad you enjoyed it. That makes it worthwhile. I'll keep Hubbing as long as I can.


IslandVoice profile image

IslandVoice 7 years ago from Hawaii

Glad to know about your dad and brother. Pilots are altogether a unique breed. Fyi, our FBO was in Manila.


nazishnasim 7 years ago

I plan to buy a jet when I grow up! :D

Great hub!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

IslandVoice— Some who has been in the business!  I had an FBO for 14 years.  We did everything: Used jet sales, charter, maintenance, refurbishment, pilot training.  We bought a jet from Manila once.  Our Director of Maintenance spent a week there looking it over.  Nice to hear from you!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

nazishnasim— Thank you for viewing and the compliment.


jajeisan5892 profile image

jajeisan5892 7 years ago from Los Angeles

I like the style of Falcon 7X!!!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

jajeisan5892— You have exquisite taste! The 7X is the coolest thing going right now. And all for a mere fifty million dollars, too! :D


IslandVoice profile image

IslandVoice 7 years ago from Hawaii

You either bought from a man named Enrique Zobel, the Cojuangco's, or fr their trusted men. We supplied jet fuel, serviced oil drilling with helicopters, did ASTM training... and gawked at all the 'birds'. I like the Lear, but that's the only jetplane i flew.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

IslandVoice— I will have to ask my Director of Maintenance who we dealt with and I will let you know.


Chris Eddy111 profile image

Chris Eddy111 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Sweet!! Love that falcon 7x. Must be nice to travel that way. Interesting read.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

You have a good eye! That 7X is state of the art, for sure. That is the first jet aircraft ever produced solely on a computer—without a mockup or prototype to use in a wind tunnel or whatever. Thanks for tuning in and leaving word.


caoshub profile image

caoshub 7 years ago from Portugal

Very nice jets! Even in my small country (Portugal), private jets are already a huge business, you know? Lots of (rich/important/extravagant) people prefer to travel in this jets company !


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

caoshub— Yes they are. I am glad to hear aviation is a big business in Portugal. I would love to visit your country some day. Thank you for leaving your comment.


outdoorguy38 profile image

outdoorguy38 7 years ago from Brookings,Oregon

Hi James, Great article and the pictures are incredible! I just read about your problems with hp and am so glad you got it all straightened out, I haven't read all your posts yet, but am quite sure I will. Thanx for all the great information and I hope you stick around for years to come.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

outdoorguy38— Good afternoon. Thank you for the compliments! I am really pleased to be back with the Hub Pages Community. I look forward to reading your work soon.


Gerry 7 years ago

The picture above shows a PC-12MG cockpit and not a G650 cockpit!!!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Gerry— Really. I think I got it off of the Gulfstream manufacturers web site. I appreciate you pointing this out. Let me take another look . . .


Gerry 7 years ago

James ... this picture is from the BMW desgin work in the USA and it shows the Pilatus PC-12 NG Cockpit. Please check the pilatus web-page! www.pilatus-aircraft.com.


Gerry 7 years ago

Hi James. Yep ... the picture you are showing under the name Gulfstream G650 cockpit does show the cockpit of the Pilatus PC-12NG aircraft. Please check www.pilatus-aircraft.com. The avionics of the PC-12NG is made by Honeywell. The picture shows the so called Pimus Apex Avionics Suit. The cockpit design was done by BMW design Works in the USA.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Gerry— Thank you noticing that error. I believe it is corrected now. I appreciate your sharp eye. I don't know how it happened.


ladyeagle_cdc profile image

ladyeagle_cdc 7 years ago from San Juan City, Philippines

Thanks for a great voyage James A, my spirit had a great fun touring around (",). BLESSINGS!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

ladyeagle_cdc— I am glad you enjoyed it. You are welcome and I thank you for your comments. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Years ago, and not long after I earned my private pilot license, I lucked into a right seat short hop in an early Lear. What a thrill that was since the largest, fastest aircraft I was checked out in was a Cessna 172.

Great Hub!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

WillStarr— Good for you, my friend. Those Learjets are awesome flying machines. I used to have a ten jet fleet when I was in the charter business. I also had two flight schools.

Thank you for visiting. I appreciate your compliments!


Coming of Age profile image

Coming of Age 5 years ago from Rocky Mountains

I am still amazed at the wealth you had accumulated at one time James, and I know that you probably owned several jets yourself.

The hub is facinating, and while I apprecaite the beauty and technology of the jets, I know that for me they will likely always remain just a pipe dream.....Nothing wrong with that though. I may buy an ultralight one of these days, that would fit in with my adrenaline junkie ways too.

I used to go each August to the World Freefall Skydiving Convention, which was like the Woodstock of freefall events. The organizer of the event was a very wealthy man who literally rented the airport in Quincy Illinois for several days to make it all happen. At any rate one year he gave rides to a select few in the Mig he had purchased from the former Soviet Government after it had collapsed. What an outrageuos toy for someone to have. That thing broke the sound barrier over the airport grounds, and our heads several times as he pushed it until we could hear the sonic boom. It must be great to be wealthy.....Good work if you can find it.

Thanks for the article James, you never dissapoint.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Coming of Age— I did own a couple of jets. And I was set for life—or so I thought. It didn't turn out the way I envisioned. Instead, I lost the company and everything I had personally went down the drain with it. I have nothing left—no home, no car, no 401K, no funds.

I have never skydived. My daddy, who was a pilot since I was a boy, told me to never jump out of a perfectly good airplane. :)

I'm glad you are interested in aviation. One of my old captains reads my Hubs and has requested that I write a History of Aviation, which I will do next month.

Thank you for visiting. And you are welcome.


stars439 profile image

stars439 4 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

This is , and awesome hub. I am so sorry that you have lost so much in you're life. I pray you, and you're family are well. Joann, and I have endured so many negativities in our lives that I care not to even begin to mention them, but I am grateful that we do have a wealth of love in our lives, and that can not be taken from us, well at least I pray it never will.

As one dear friend to another, I pray that God grants you a happiness , and joy above, and beyond all material things, and that somehow in this world you're wonderful skill as a writer, and you're formidable knowledge in many fields will produce a best seller, a leading novel, and earn you the bread , and butter you so just deserve for all the wealth of knowledge you share with thousands of readers.

I pray that God will bless you in all you're productive endeavors. I can not afford to buy many things, but if you ever write a book, or a novel, I promise you I will somehow squirrel away some money , and buy it no matter what. When you write you're best seller please let us know about it on Hub Pages. This is one promise I will try to keep. God Bless You my Brother.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Stars439— It is so good to 'see' you here, Brother. I appreciate your blessings and prayers. Thank you for coming to visit and for the lovely laudations.

I know that you, Joann, and Becky have had a rough go of it. So don't weep for me, my friend. I am doing fairly well actually. Love is what matters. We both know that.

I hope my book does well. Lord knows I am spending a lot of time on it to make it as good as I can. And to give Him the honor and glory.

I am grateful for your warm words. Believe me, when my book is finally published I will announce it loudly through HubPages. :D

God Bless You!

James

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