- Education and Science
Fastest Private Passenger Aircraft in the World
We have seen how fast military and civilian aircraft fly but there is one more segment when it comes to aircraft and that is the private or chartered segment. It is a no-brainer that the private aircraft will be utilized by people who have a dearth of time and hence in a hurry to get from one place to another. So it is obvious that the aircraft built to serve such a segment would be fast enough. But how fast? We will come to know in a moment.
We will list the aircraft from the fastest to the relatively slowest one. There is one more thing about these aircraft – they not only have to fly fast but fly far. Why fly far? Like explained in the opening paragraph, these aircraft cater to the uber fast and no-time-to-lose customers, meaning while the aircraft should be fast, it should also be able to reach the destination with less or no-stops. So, it’s a tricky balance of fuel efficiency, longer haul yet being faster in the flight. If that is the case where do these group of aircraft slot-in as compared to the military and civilian ones? Read on to find out.
You can read about the fastest military aircraft here
You can read about the fastest commercial passenger aircraft here
1. Cessna Citation X+
Cessna Citation X+ is the fastest civilian private jet in the world and reclaimed the top spot in 2014. Reclaimed, did you say? Yes, the Cessna X had lost the spot to the G650 momentarily and that led to the creation of the X+ which ultimately got the record home. Not only is the speed of 0.935 Mach impressive but the aircraft also has other improvements like increased length, increased distance (which is also a record), thrust increase (leading to more people being carried), and few other aspects. Here are the stats.
- Aircraft: Cessna Citation X+
- Speed Record: Mach 0.935 [628 mph or 1,012 kmph]
- Engine Type: 2 Rolls Royce/Allison AE 3007C1 turbofan
- Engine Power: 6,764 pound-feet (30 kN)
- Speed Record Created: 2014
- Total Built: 340+ (in X form) + 20 odd (in X+ form)
One look at the aircraft and you get a feeling of resemblance to the X-men kind of aircraft thrusters on the side of the aircraft or more like Star Trek kind of warp thrusters independently on the side. That in itself is a good indicator of what to expect even before the engine is fired on. Citation is built by the American manufacturer Cessna and is in production as Citation X since 1996 and as Citation X+ from 2013. The aircraft has set numerous records from its early flight in 1996, barring a minor blip due to the G650, and continues to hold the fastest jet tag; although have to admit, that blip by G650 lasted for 4 years.
2. Gulfstream G650
And here comes the challenger to the speed throne who had dethroned the king once already. The G650 may make an attempt at the record in the future but as of now, the record at the top was held by the Gulfstream at Mach 0.925 from 2010 to 2014. The Citation X+ ended the reign of the G650 by doing a Mach 0.935.
- Aircraft: Gulfstream G650
- Speed Record: Mach 0.925 [621 mph or 1,001 kmph]
- Engine Type: 2 Rolls Royce Deutscheland BR725 turbofan
- Engine Power: 8,050 pound-feet (35.7 kN)
- Speed Record Created: 2010
- Total Built: 260+
Gulfstream Aerospace is the creator of the G650 and has been selling it since 2008. The jet's controls were completely fly-by-wire and that made the G650 only the second fly-by-wire business jets after the Falcon 7X.
3. Dassault Falcon 7X
The Dassault Falcon 7X is a large cabin business jet manufactured by Dassault Aviation. This was the first business jet to have a complete fly-by-wire control. The Falcon 8X is essentially bigger in dimension as compared to the 8X without much difference in the top speed. As such the Falcon 7X is the holder of the third spot at Mach 0.9.
- Aircraft: Dassault Falcon 7X
- Speed Record: Mach 0.9 [604 mph or 973 kmph]
- Engine Type: Pratt & Whitney Canada PW307A
- Engine Power: 6,402 pound-feet (28.48 kN)
- Speed Record Created: 2011
- Total Built: 260+ (in 7X form) and 5+ (in 8X form)
The 7X has been in service since 2005 with the 8X being introduced in 2015. Dassault is working towards the 9X with focus on better comfort, improved fuel efficiency, and reduced noise. This only means that for the moment at least, the 7X will be the speed record bearer at Mach 0.9 for the Falcon series.
4. Bombardier Global 6000
The Global 6000 is fourth in the list of fastest business jets at Mach 0.89. It is manufactured by Bombardier Aerospace and is an improvement over the Global 5000. The 6000 was supposed to be faster than the 5000 and the result was a speed of Mach 0.89.
- Aircraft: Bombardier Global 6000
- Speed Record: Mach 0.89 [598 mph or 963 kmph]
- Engine Type: Rolls-Royce BR710 A2-20 turbofans
- Engine Power: 14,750 pound-feet (65.6 kN)
- Speed Record Created: 2011
- Total Built: 400+ (as Global 6000)
The Global 6000 entered service in 2012 and is powered by two BMW Rolls Royce engine. The Global 6000 can be fueled 15 minutes faster than its predecessor leading to a better turnaround time. Bombardier now plans to build the 7000/8000 in the next round of development, again, focusing on speed, comfort, longer distance and lower cabin noise. Let’s see how fast those aircraft can go whenever they are ready. Time will tell.
What to Expect?
If you really took the time to look at the speeds of the military and passenger jets, you will notice that the business jets slot somewhere in between the two. That said, if Concorde is revived, which is one of the talks happening at the moment, the speed improvement of the aircraft in this segment would be worth watching!