While most people have to deal with lengthy waits through security checkpoints or being crammed in economy-class seats, the wealthy can either charter a flight on a private jet or they might own an aircraft outright. Private jets have been around for almost as long as jet-powered passenger aircraft have been in the skies. These smaller planes also tend to be faster on the airliners operated by commercial carriers. Here are the fastest private jets ever built:
LearJet 23 – 561 mph
The LearJet 23 was the first successful purpose-built private jet. Along with developing the first car radio and 8-track tapes, Bill Lear founded LearJet in 1962 with the 23 having its first flight the following year. The design for the LearJet 23 was adapted from a Swiss prototype for a ground-attack jet fighter.
Boeing Business Jet MAX 9 – 629 mph
While Boeing primarily produces large commercial aircraft for airlines, the major American manufacturer will also produce versions of its aircraft for private use under the Boeing Business Jet brand. The mainline models for BBJ are derived from the 737. The current BBJ MAX 9 might not have the speed advantage of purpose-built private jets, but it won’t be beat for cabin size.
Dassault Falcon 7X/8X – 690 mph
French aircraft manufacturer Dassault used the low-swept wing design from its Mystère IV fighter bomber to create the popular line of Falcon private jets during the early 1960s. The current 7X was launched in 2005, followed by the larger 8X variant in 2016. Taylor Swift owns a Dassault Falcon 7X, registration number N621MM.
Bombardier Global 7500 – 710 mph
The top-of-line Bombardier model currently in production is the Global 7500. The ultra-long-range jet entered service in 2018 and has a top speed of 710 miles per hour. Formula 1 champion, airline owner and brand ambassador Niki Lauda placed the first Global 7500 order in 2015. The plane costs $78 million fully equipped by Bombardier.
Gulfstream G700 – 710 mph
Gulfstream is the best-selling private jet manufacturer and is synonymous with private jets for some. The Gulfstream G700, the manufacturer’s latest model, reaches the same top speed as the competing Bombardier. The updated G800 is expected to be certified by the FAA next year. Elon Musk owns a Gulfstream G650ER, registration number N628TS.
Dassault Falcon 10X – 710 mph
The newest iteration of the Dassault Falcon, the 10X, is scheduled to be introduced in 2025 with a top speed matching the leading Bombardier and Gulfstream. It’s not a coincidence that all these planes top out at a little over 710 miles per hour. The speed is around Mach 0.925, entirely within the transonic range where airflow becomes unsteady.
Cessna Citation X+ – 717 mph
The Cessna Citation X+ was able to push just a little further to reach Mach 0.935. The plane’s high speed is attributed to its 37-degree swept wing. Within the realm of civilian aircraft, the severity of the sweep is only beaten by the 37.5-degree wing on the Boeing 747.
Bombardier Global 8000 – 721 mph
Bombardier’s next private jet, the Global 8000, is scheduled to debut in 2025 and will aptly aim to have a range of 8,000 nautical miles. The Bombardier will likely be the new fastest private jet in the world, primarily due to the aircraft’s new transonic wing.
Photo: Acroterion / Wikimedia Commons
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