- Wikimedia/Eugene Butler
The latest generation of business jets are quick.
Quick enough to shave valuable hours from airline routes while providing extraordinary levels of comfort and customization to the lucky few who can afford them.
Each aircraft has its own “mission profile,” meaning that customers can choose the best options from a wide variety of aircraft and then make them their own.
Today’s business aircraft are flirting with the sound barrier, and it seems only a matter of time before technology allows the world’s executives and jet-set elite to follow Chuck Yeager into new realms of speed.
But until that happens, and if going quick is the main goal, then these are the five fastest business jets money can buy right now:
5. Gulfstream G550
The Mach 0.885, $53.5 million G550 can bring the whole boardroom along in sumptuous comfort, with sleeping accommodations for eight or room for a maximum of 19 passengers.
It also has a globe-trekking range of 6,750 nautical miles and, like many of the aircraft on this list, it will fly well above most airliners at altitudes over 42,000 feet.
4. Bombardier Global 6000
Global 6000 – as in 6,000 nautical miles of range.
Los Angeles to Moscow, if you please.
At the fastest cruise setting, the “Global Express” will do Mach 0.89.
It also boasts an exceptionally long cabin, a “superior stateroom experience” according to the manufacturer, and the option of a full bathroom, including a stand-up shower.
An industry standard, the Global 6000 goes for $45 million.
- Wikimedia Commons
3. Dassault Falcon 7X
One of only two “trijets” currently in production, the $52.5 million Falcon 7X was, when launched in 2005, the first fully fly-by-wire business jet.
In 2014, a 7X made a record trip from New York to London in under six hours, an entire hour faster than the average commercial flight.
Top speed: Mach 0.90.
- Courtesy Gulfstream
2. Gulfstream G650/G500
Customers willing to shell out $65 million and stand the three-year waiting list can have the speedy, luxurious, and long-legged Gulfstream G650.
In long-range cruise mode, it can cover 7,000 nautical miles. At full tilt, it will cruise at Mach 0.925.
The aircraft first flew in 2009, and it is Gulfstream’s largest and fastest jet to date.
The slightly smaller G500 will also do Mach 0.925, and has a range of 5,000 nautical miles.
1. Cessna Citation X+
Desperate to shake off a reputation for a lack of speed relative to the rest of the private jet market, Cessna decided to swing for the fences, and in 1996 introduced the very fast Citation X.
The latest member of the family, the 2010-launched Citation X+, is the undisputed king of speed, and can sprint at Mach 0.935, making the trip from Los Angeles to New York in under four hours.
Sticker price: about $22 million.