The private jet is a luxurious and fast means of transport to get around the world. There are several categories of jets in business aviation but which one is the fastest in the world?
60% of private jet users are professionals and companies looking to maximize their time. Tailor-made aviation makes it possible to avoid queues at security and customs checks, to avoid the queues at scheduled airline schedules or to access airports not served by commercial flights as close as possible to a destination.
For the majority of travellers, the value of a private jet lies solely in the possibility it offers to take them where they want to go and very quickly. This explains the attention private jet manufacturers give to the power of their aircraft and the popularity of fast aircraft among travellers. For example, some private jets fly much faster than an airliner.
How fast can a private jet fly ?
The speed of a private jet depends essentially on the category of the aircraft and the type of engine.
Turboprops, which are propeller-driven aircraft, generally fly between 300 and 800 km/h in cruise flight.
The Pilatus PC12, for example, a turboprop, which is very popular with business travellers and can accommodate up to 8 passengers, can fly at speeds of up to 500 km/hr.
Private jets, almost all powered by turbojet engines, have variable speeds depending on their category:
– Ultra-light private jets (1 to 5 seats) generally fly between 600 and 750 km/h.
The Citation Mustang, for example, a 4-seat ultralight private jet, can fly at 630 km/h in cruising flight. The Phenom 100, in the same category, is a little faster with a cruising speed of 750 km/h.
– The long-haul private jets (10 to 16 seats) are the favourites of the range, they generally fly between 850 and 1100 km/h.
Private jets have the advantage of being able to climb very high in altitude, up to 13,700 meters. This allows them to be higher than airliners and to fly direct. The Citation Longitude, for example, flies up to 910 km/h in cruise.
The speed of a private jet always depends on the weather
The airspeed indicated on an aircraft’s airspeed indicator is never the actual speed at which the aircraft is moving. In fact, this indicated airspeed (also called Indicated Air Speed) is the speed directly from the aircraft’s external sensors. But these sensors do not take into account the air mass inside which the aircraft is located or the direction and surface of the winds. And that can change everything!
In February 2020, storm Ciara raged over the Atlantic. A Boeing 747-200 of the British airline company British Airways flew from New York to London in 4h56 when it usually takes 6h55. On that day, as reported in the DailyMail, winds of up to 400 km/h blowing in the back of the aircraft allowed it to fly at over 1100 km/h when it usually flies at 980 km/h. Similarly, a headwind slows the aircraft down.
Top 5 fastest private jets in the world
An Airbus A320 can fly at 870 km/h, the Rafale fighter plane can reach speeds of up to 2,223 km/h. But what is the fastest private jet in the world?
AEROAFFAIRES tells you which are the 5 fastest private jets in the world!
5. Gulfstream G550
The Gulfstream G550 is an American private jet that entered service in 2004. Its cabin can accommodate between 14 and 19 passengers and it has a range of 10,850 km.
It is equipped with turbojet engines, 2 Rolls-Royce BR710 Turbofan which allow it to go at a speed of 1093 km/h (mach 0.885; mach 1 being the speed of sound).
4. Bombardier Global 6000
The Bombardier Global 6000 is a Canadian private jet entering service in 2012. It can carry up to 19 passengers and has a range of 11,214 km. Its spacious cabin and numerous assets make it one of the most expensive private jets on the market.
Its two Rolls-Royce BR710 turbojet engines allow it to fly at up to 1099 km/h (mach 0.89).
3. Dassault Falcon 7X
The Falcon 7X is a private jet brought into service by Dassault Aviation in 2005. Its cabin can accommodate up to 16 passengers. It has a range of 11,000 km/h.
Its three Pratt & Whitney PW307A turbojet engines enable it to fly at speeds of up to 1112 km/h (mach 0.90).
In May 2014, a Falcon 7X flew from New York to London in a then record time of 5h54.
2. Gulfstream G500
The Gulfstream G500 is an American private jet that entered service in 2004. Its cabin can accommodate up to 19 passengers and it has a range of 9,630 km.
It is powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW814GA turbojet engines that allow it to reach speeds of up to 1143 km/h (mach 0.925).
1. Cessna citation X+
The Citation X+ is the big winner in its category. Launched in 2010 by Cessna as a more modern version of the Citation X, it has a range of 6,410 km. Its spacious cabin can carry between 8 and 13 passengers.
Its two Rolls-Royce AE3007CE turbojet engines allow it to fly at a maximum speed of 1194 km/h (mach 0.935).
Its capacities allow it to climb to an altitude of 14,300 metres in just 24 minutes and to make a Los Angeles – New York flight in less than 4 hours. Unfortunately, Cessna ceased production of the Citation X+ in 2018 and there are only 23 of this model in the world.