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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.