Wondering what the fastest private jet is and if money can buy time? This post shares everything you need to know.
What Is The Fastest Private Jet On The Planet?
- Cessna Citation X+ – Mach 0.935 / 717mph / 993 kph
- Gulfstream G650/G700 – Mach 0.925 / 710mph/ 1142 kph
- Dassault Falcon 7X – Mach 0.9 / 691mph/ 1111kph
- Bombardier Global 6000 – Mach 0.89 / 683mph / 1099kph
- Gulfstream G550 – Mach 0.885 / 679mph / 1093kph
How fast do private jets fly?
Cessna Citation X+ – Mach 0.935 / 717mph / 993 kph
The Cessna Citation X+ is a Business jet from Cessna, part of the Citation family. The Citation X first flew in December 1993. The X+ version was introduced in 2012 and featured a stretched cabin for increased passenger comfort and upgraded systems.
The Citation X+ does not share many components with earlier versions of the Citation, despite being from the same family. It does have a common fuselage cross-section with the Citation III.
The Citation X+ does have an all-new wing giving it an Mmo (Mach Maximum Operating speed) of Mach 0.935. The Citation 10 improvements include improved Rolls Royce AE3007C2 engines plus new fans. The high bypass ratio of these engines makes them stand out.
The Citation X+ does have Garmin G5000 integration and a heads up display. From an aerodynamics perspective, the Citation X+ does come with elliptical winglets as standard. These were optional extras on earlier versions of the Citation.
The new wing and improved engines give the Citation X+ an increase in cruise speed at FL490 from 460 to 479 knots and a range increase of 190 nm (352 km) from Wikipedia. High bypass turbofan engines reduce noise and improve fuel consumption.
The improved specific fuel consumption increases the aircraft range to 3,460nm/ 6,408km in long-range cruise. Compared to the Citation X, the Citation X+ has an increased maximum take-off weight of 36,600lb/ 16,601kg.
One of the most impressive features of the Citation X+ is the raw speed it is capable of (Mach 0.935Mmo). This high speed is possible because of the high sweep of the wing, which increases the critical Mach number and reduces drag at high speed.
The Citation X+ sweep of 37degrees is second to only 747, which has a sweep of 37.5degrees. Fuselage improvements using the area rule contribute to the low drag at high transonic speeds. One of the Citation X+ tricks is to have its wing below the fuselage.
The arrangement of having the wing below the fuselage provides several benefits, including simplified wing design and more significant space in the cabin.
Citation X features powered controls with dual hydraulic system redundancy. Having a dual hydraulic system posed a challenge in finding the space to run the hydraulic piping and systems. The Citation X+ is the king of speed for private jets.
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Gulfstream G650/G700 – Mach 0.925 / 710mph / 1142kph
The G650 was launched as the largest business jet by Gulfstream aerospace. The G650 can carry between 11 and 18 passengers and was the largest and fasted private jet until the launch of the G700 in 2019.
The G650 does come in an extended range version – the G650ER. The G650ER offers an extra 500NM over the standard G650 7000NM range @M0.85. The original G650 program was unveiled in March 2008. The aircraft rollout was on the 29th of September 2009, with the first flight later that year on the 25th of November 2009.
During certification testing, the Max speed recorded on the G650 was a staggering Mach 0.995 during flight testing in dive during the 1,800hr flight test program.
The G650 was certified by FAA on the 7th of September 2012, and the first G650 customer delivery was made in December 2012. The list price for the G650 is around 70M USD, according to corporatejetinvestor.com.
The extended range G650ER version was announced in May 2014. The 650ER extra fuel is housed in the wing, and crucially, existing G650 aircraft can be upgraded to give them the additional range capability. The G650ER has flown non-stop from LA to Melbourne.
In 2015 the G650ER made a new world record flying by flying none stop from Singapore to Las Vegas 8,010 nautical miles (14,835 km; 9,218 mi) with four passengers and crew. Rolls Royce BR725 engines power the Gulfstream G650/G650ER.
Gulfstream went for an oval fuselage rather than a round structure to improve cabin space. The G650 has a full kitchen and bar full entertainment is offered with sat phones and wifi throughout the cabin.
The G650 is made from composites. Aiding high-speed flight is a wing sweep of 36 degrees. The G650 does not have leading-edge high lift devices and has a complete fly by wire system.
A military variant of the G650 was offered to USAF to replace the E-8C (JSTART) for air to ground surveillance and tracking aircraft. As a result of the 2018 budget, this program did not go ahead.
The Gulfstream G700 is a stretched version of the G650. Customer deliveries are expected to start in 2022.
According to Luxuo.com: G700 aircraft had just set two transatlantic records for flying at 6,711 nautical miles non-stop at Mach 0.88 or 1,086 kilometres per hour, for 13 hours and 16 minutes. The aircraft took off from Savannah, Georgia to Doha, in Qatar.
It then set another record for flying from Doha to Paris, 2,935 nautical miles in six hours and 15 minutes, at an average speed of Mach 0.90 before returning back to its headquarters in Savannah.
Dassault Falcon 7X – Mach 0.90 / 691mph/ 1111kph
The Dassault Flacon 7x is manufactured by Dassault Aviation. The Falcon 7x featured for truly digital flight control system based on Dassault military experience (Mirage 2000).
According to Dassault, more than 250 Falcon 7X are flying today in 41 countries. Impressively, the Falcon 7X has logged more than 550,000 flight hours since its first flight back on the 5th of May 2005.
The Falcon 7X has a maximum take-off weight of 70,000lbs and offers a range of 5,950nm/ 11,019km. The Falcon 7X was launched at the 2001 Paris airshow, and after successful certification, went into service on the 15th of June 2007.
The intent for the FNX (before being named Falcon 7X) program in 2001 was for a 5,700nm/ 10,500km range @ Mach 0.88 large business jet. The Falcon 7X offered significant performance improvements compared to its predecessor (the Falcon 900EX).
Aerodynamically, the 7X improved wing had a 5degress higher sweep than the predecessor Falcon 900EX and a 20% longer fuselage for increased passenger comfort. The Falcon 7X is of a three-engine design.
During the design phase, the engines under consideration were the Honeywell FX5 and Pratt and Whitney PW306. The Pratt & Whitney turbofan engines were eventually selected for the Falcon 7X.
The Falcon 7X featured Honeywell Primus Epic Enhanced avionics and was the first fully fly-by-wire business jet available on the market. Part of the wing design for the Falcon 7X program improved the lift to drag by 10% compared to the Falcon 50 wing.
During the Falcon 7X design, the goal was to achieve a cabin altitude of 6000ft despite a service ceiling of 51,000ft, which was completed during certification. The Falcon 7X underwent over 1,200hr of flight testings lasting over 15 months in achieving certification.
According to shareareport.com list price for Falcon 7X in 2017 was approx $54M. The current 3 Pratt & Whitney PW307A engines are mounted on either fuselage side and the vertical stabilizer. It has not all been plain sailing for the Falcon 7X.
The entire Falcon 7X fleet was temporarily grounded after an uncontrolled pitch trim runaway in May 2011. The investigation found that the reason for the uncommanded pitch trim runway resulted from a defect in the Horizontal Stabilizer Control Unit.
Modifications allowed flights to resume in June 2011. The defect that caused the erroneous nose command up to the elevator was a soldering defect on the Rockwell collins control unit.
Bombardier Global 6000 – Mach 0.89 / 683mph / 1099kph
For a time (before the Gulfstream 650), the Bombardier Global 6000 had the largest business jet cabin. The mission profile at inception from Bombardier Aviation was for a business jet capable of 6000nm/ 11,100km range at Mach 0.85.
The first flight of the Bombardier Global jet program was on the 13th of October 1996. Canadian certification was granted on the 31st of July 1998, with US and European certification following soon after.
The Global 6000 is powered by the BMW/ Rolls Royce BR710 engine. Partners were selected on a risk share basis and rewarded as such. The Global 6000 shares the same fuselage cross-section with Canadair Regional Jet and Challenger 600.
The Canadair purchase by Bombardier Aerospace (with Challenger 600) meant Bombardier had access to the technology. Rolls Royce Pearl Engines powered the later generation Bombardier Global 5500/6500 business jets.
The goal for the Global 6000 was with eight passengers and four crew achieving a range of 6,500nm/12,000km @ Mach 0.85. Reliability was crucial with the design intent of the Global range being that no single failure should result in diversion or failure to dispatch.
The Bombardier design team also set a 99.5% reliability goal for the Global jets. Although ETOPS was not a design requirement, the Bombardier design team did apply ETOPS rules as a design requirement, further improving the reliability case for the aircraft.
The Global program proceeded with mechanical controls to reduce development costs rather than moving to a fly-by-wire flight control system.
Aside from costs in developing a fly-by-wires solution for the Global program, customer worry and acceptance of the fly-by-wire philosophy were also concerns. The first prototype of the Global jets few on the 13th of October 1996.
The test flight program reached 2,200flight hours. The Global wings are produced by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, with the aircraft featuring many technical advancements, including the use of composites in some of the structures.
The Global 6000 program hit some headwinds, with production having to be cut back in May 2015 due to softening demand. The Global Express has a 6,700nm range @Mach 0.80, 51,000ft.
Assuming the weather at the destination is good with suitable alternates close by, the aircraft can fly for 13 hours! The Global Express has two fuselage-mounted engines and features a 35-degree wing sweep, allowing for low drag at high transonic speeds.
The BMW-Rolls-Royce RB710 engines are controlled by FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Control). Although not fly-by-wire, the flight deck has a six-screen Honeywell Primus 2000XP EFIS avionics suite.
With the Global 6000 able to take a significant cabin pressure differential, it can maintain a cabin altitude of 4500ft up to 45,000ft and a cabin altitude of 5680ft at 51,000ft.
The mission profile of the Global Express jet allows for 10 hours flight at Mach 0.85 or 12 hours at Mach 0.82-0.83. Shorter trips can be completed faster at Mach 0.85. Mach 0.89 makes the Global 6000 one of the fastest jets available.
Global 6000 sales started in 2012. The Global 6000 does have some military roles – for example, Airbourne Early Warning & Control (AWACS) with United Area Emirates Force.
The Royal Air Force also used the Global 6000 as surveillance aircraft (Raytheon Sentinel) but completed its last operational flight on the 21st of February 2001.
How much does a Bombardier Global 6000 cost?
A Bombardier Global 6000 cost $62.31 Million in 2018, according to aviationweek.com.
Gulfstream G550 – Mach 0.885 / 679mph / 1093kph
The Gulfstream G550 is manufactured by General Dynamics Gulfstream Aerospace division based in Savannah, Georgia, in the US. The G550 program is designated the GV-SP. G-550 production stopped in July 2001 with 603 G550s in service.
The G550 is an extended range version of the G500 with FAA Certification received on the 14th of August 2003. Gulfstream undertook a re-engine review in 2014 with Rolls Royce Pearl BR700 but prefered instead to progress with the G650, which would have the Rolls Royce BR725.
The G600 replaced the G550. Although the G600 had less range than the G550, it had a better cabin and cockpit. The G650 and G650ER eventually made up for the shortfall in the range of the G600.
The Gulfstream G550 was popular with the military remaining in limited production for military applications. The G550 military applications examples included:
- C37B US Military VIP passenger configuration
- EC-37B Electronic warefare configuration
The Gulfstream 500 improvements from the Gulfstream 4 range included drag reduction and increased weight take. A 7th window was also added on the Gulfstream 500.
The Gulfstream 5 avionics features flight deck cursor controls via the Honeywell Primus Epic avionics with a head-up display and enhanced vision system. The G5 competes against the Bombardier Global 6000 and Dassault Flacon 7X.
G550 has a list price of $54.5M, according to infogram.com.
How fast is a Gulfstream G700?
The Gulfstream 700 has a MMo of Mach 0.925 / 710mph/ 1142 kph
Is there a supersonic private jet?
There is not a private supersonic jet now, but the Aerio AS2 supersonic private jet is in development. Production is hoped to start in 2022.
Netjets has placed an order for 20 of the Aerion AS2 supersonic jets.
Do private jets need 2 pilots?
Not all private jets need two pilots. Some private jets can be flown ‘single pilot’. From Coorporateprivateplanes.com Examples of single-pilot private jets include:
- Cessna Citation M2 (500/550 series)
- Cessna Citation CJ3+
- Cirrus Vision Jet
- Eclipse 500
- Eclipse 550
- Embraer Phenom 100(EV)
- Embraer Phenom 300(E)
- HondaJet HA-420
- Pilatus PC-24
- Gulfstream G650/G700/G800 – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulfstream_G650/G700/G800
- Gulfstream to pitch G650 for JSTARS replacement – https://www.flightglobal.com/gulfstream-to-pitch-g650-for-jstars-replacement/113305.article
- Gulfstream’s G700 Sets Two Transatlantic Speed Records – https://www.luxuo.com/cars/aircraft/gulfstreams-g700-sets-two-transatlantic-speed-records.html
- Falcon 7X The benchmark for the 21st century business jet – https://www.dassaultfalcon.com/en/Aircraft/Models/7X/Pages/overview.aspx
- THE COSTS TO OWN AND OPERATE A FALCON 7X – https://sherpareport.com/aircraft/costs-falcon-7x.html
- RAF Sentinel R1 aircraft conducts last operational flight – https://www.raf.mod.uk/news/articles/raf-sentinel-r1-aircraft-conducts-last-operational-flight/
- Gulfstream G550 – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulfstream_G550
- Infrogram.com – https://infogram.com/bca-table-jets-1h8n6m3l3dvqj4x?live
- NetJets is going supersonic with 20 Aerion AS2 private jets – https://privatejetcardcomparisons.com/2021/03/03/netjets-is-going-supersonic-with-20-aerion-as2-private-jets/
- The Reason Private Jets Require Two Pilots – https://compareprivateplanes.com/articles/do-private-jets-require-two-pilots
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If you have any questions or comments about the fastest private jets, please leave a comment in the section below!
Kudzi Chikohora is a B737 pilot with over 2,500 hours of flying in Europe. He holds a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering, is a chartered engineer, and is a member of the Royal Aeronautical Society.
Kudzi completed his pilot training via the self-funded modular pilot training route and created kcthepilot.com to share pilot training and aviation content.