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?
Well, slower than the military ones but faster than the civilian ones. On expected lines, you say? But then did you know there is a hypersonic aircraft and two supersonic aircraft on the list too? Did you know that the military is interested to know about the hypersonic aircraft development? Now you are surprised, eh!
So read on.
1. HyperStar Super Sonic Business Jet (earlier SonicStar)
HyperStar is the fastest private jet that we will be seeing soon. It is so fast that it has the ability to leave behind many of the supersonic military aircraft. In fact, it is so fast that it could leave an SR – 71 behind; no kidding. This is a flight concept which was introduced in 2011 and was expected to do around Mach 3, however, HyperMach Aerospace, the makers of the HyperStar, have revised the speed ceiling twice. Revised not to make it slower but to make it faster. Now, how often do we hear that kind of a change? So, at the moment the HyperStar is expected to do a Mach 5 at 80,000 feet and hence a name change from SonicStar to HyperStar. After all, this is now a hypersonic aircraft.
- Aircraft: HyperMach’s HyperStar Super Sonic Business Jet
- Speed Record: Mach 5 [3,358 mph or 5,406.4 kmph]
- Engine Type: H-Magjet 5500-X hybrid turbofan ramjet engines
- Engine Power: 76,000 pound-feet (337 kN)
- Speed Record Created: Expected to test in 2018
- Total Built: Expected to be in operation between 2021 and 2023.
Hear the CEO Speak
The confidence for raising the speed ceiling comes from the fact that the engine is being built along with SonicBlue Aerospace, a sister company of HyperMach Aerospace. To test the flight by late 2018, HyperMach intends to build an unmanned aircraft to fly at Mach 5. So, obviously, the military got interested for both understanding the technology as much as to check if the development comes under any regulatory prohibition. HyperMach, though, is confident that it has followed every law and regulation to reach where it has reached. That further bolsters the confidence in this program.
2. Spike S - 512
Spike S – 512 will be one of the first supersonic aircraft to have a boom-less technology. They call it the quiet technology which gets rid or reduces the sonic boom. The technology is awaiting a patent. The patent part is a bit confusing considering the development of “Boom” aircraft on the commercial passenger side which is also expected to build sonic boom-less aircraft. And Boom has NASA as one of the development participants. Anyway, barring this part, it is exciting to see one more supersonic private jet to take to the skies. It will have a higher seating capacity of 40 to 50 in comparison to other aircraft on this list.
- Aircraft: Spike S - 512
- Speed Record: Mach 1.8 [1,209 mph or 1,946.5 kmph]
- Engine Type: Dual Engines
- Engine Power: 40,000 pound-feet (178 kN)
- Speed Record Created: In development now. Testing in 2020
- Total Built: Expected to be in operation by end of 2023
S – 512 is being developed by Spike Aerospace and the CEO claims that the investment in this area is due to the interest evinced by many potential customers. Not just potential customers but those that have given a pre-booking amount. The S – 512 is expected to be in the market by end of 2023.
3. Aerion AS2
The list of supersonic private jets under-development just does not come to an end and Aerion AS2 is also one of them. It does bring to light the fact that there is, in fact, demand for such aircraft. The AS2 is being developed by Aerion Corporation in collaboration with Lockheed Martin. The latter’s technological and development prowess in the aerospace segment does inspire confidence in the program.
- Aircraft: Aerion AS2
- Speed Record: Mach 1.5 [1,007.5 mph or 1,622.1 kmph]
- Engine Type: Three Engines [turbofan type]
- Engine Power: 54,000 pound-feet (240 kN)
- Speed Record Created: First flight expected in 2023. Certification by 2025
- Total Built: Numbers expected to be known by 2025
4. Cessna Citation X+
With the supersonic and hypersonic aircraft still to be available for service, the Citation X+ is the current fastest in the world.
Cessna Citation X+ reclaimed the top spot in 2014. Reclaimed, did I 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.
5. Gulfstream G650
And here comes the challenger to the speed throne which had dethroned the Citation once already. The G650 may make an attempt at the record in the future, but as of today, the Gulfstream comes after the Citation. While at the top, the Gulfstream could do a Mach 0.925 and remained unchallenged 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.
6. 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.
7. 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?
The private passenger aircraft segment has thrown in the most surprises. Who would have thought to find a hypersonic and few supersonic aircraft? To the extent that it even interests the military. That said, if this happens in the private jet segment, will it also trickle to the passenger segment? Only time will tell, but I am quite enthusiastic about such a future.
Unless, I can buy my own private hypersonic jet. Adios!
Which Aircraft Impressed you the most?
Which Aircraft Impressed you the most?
- 0% Cessna Citation X+
- 0% Gulfstream G650
- 75% Dassault Falcon 7X
- 25% Bombardier Global 6000
This poll is now closed to voting.
© 2018 Savio Koman