One option businesses rarely thrive and so the operations that ONLY focused on fractional flights have seemingly begun to realize. If I am rather candid, did they expect to truly work out? How long did they think they could thrive by hiring really great talkers (sales persons) to convince buyers that this was a great option before the consumers began realizing this option was nothing more than what I have often labeled an extremely expensive bragging right! Sure! You can brag to all your friends that you own a plane but do you really? If you truly owned a plane then you’d probably fly in YOUR plane from time to time and that’s rarely the case in fractional operations. Most factional operators seemed to be pulling away from fractional focus and shifting their focus more towards jet cards.
Jet cards often offer many of the same perks of fractional contracts; however, often without the upfront asset cost, managements fees, and residual-value risk. Shouldn’t the customer shop for ‘solutions’ instead of wasting their money for the ability to brag that they own a jet (if that’s what you want to call it)?
Diversification is often the key to success! Meeting the needs of the consumer is certainly key to success! Consumers want high-quality, yet affordable, private flying options. Gimmicks are short lived – as they should be! At the end of the day, you should ultimately want well-equipped and well-maintained aircraft, experienced and well-trained crew members, reliability and guarantee (a company who will back up their service in the event of an issue instead of leaving you stranded)! Many consumers of fractional options have been sold on the consistency of aircraft and service; however, an experienced broker can assure you the same quality, as they are not tied to a particular fleet! With exceptional experience, a charter broker can save you money and offer the same, if not better, quality offered by top fractional operators. Larger fleets typically afford these offerings but charter brokers are not tied to a fleet; they source to all fleets. Just make sure you are dealing with an honest broker who doesn’t ever compromise standards (especially safety standards) to try to earn your business by being the lowest bidder!
Private jets afford flyers the ability to maintain a greater degree of normalcy while still traveling to accommodate their career of choice. Commercial airlines are inconvenient; the traveler has to adhere to the schedule of the airline. With private jets, the traveler(s) are able to make their own schedule and that means considerably less time spent away from home.
Another great benefit is that most business jets these days are equipped with technologies that are not available on commercial flights. These technologies afford the traveler the luxury of working enroute. Additionally, travelers don’t spend any considerable amount of time in airports dealing with security lines, checking in for flights, dealing with checking in baggage (and additional baggage issues) and simply waiting, waiting, and more waiting. Last, but certainly not least, private jets of this magnitude often have seating configurations that convert into full-sized, rather comfortable, beds. If you choose to nap during flight then you can do so peacefully!
Although the actual price tag is certainly larger than commercial fares, the quality of travel, the use of time, and the airports serviced (including smaller airports in more rural areas) are priceless to some travelers.
The following table is a breakdown of long-range aircraft available for private charter.
|Aircraft||Max NM Range||Cruise Speed||Max Weight||Max passengers with full fuel||Cabin Volume|
|Bombardier Global 6000||6,390||471||99,500||12||2,140|
Quieter Cabins Anyone?
Focus on a more comfortable plane ride exists for designers of commercial airliners and private jets alike. Engineers consistently make strides in this area; however, a team of researchers at NC State University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a solution they are confident will change the game of soundproofing aircraft cabins.
Essentially the process incorporates a light-weight honeycomb composite material that is already used for interior cabin structures. What’s different is injecting a paper-thin rubber membrane between two layers of the honeycomb material to drastically reduce the amount of sound that penetrates the material.
Naturally, to operate efficiently, it is extremely important to add as little weight to the airframe as possible. While it is difficult to estimate the exact weight adage, it is predicted that it will be less than 1%.
Low-frequency noise, below 500 Hertz, is where this process is most effective; blocking between 100 and 1,000 times more sound energy than a panel without the membrane.
While studies are still in an infancy stage, the team has received several preliminary inquiries from composite panel manufacturers and providers of aircraft acoustic insulation but perhaps the most promising is an inquiry from a major airframer.
Boeing Business Jets Considers a Combi Configuration
Your first question might very well be, “What is a Combi Configuration?” Well, it is a combination of cargo and passenger configurations. The Combi, as it has been nicknamed, is expected to cater to industrial, government, and heavy machinery type organizations who find themselves in a position of needing to transport equipment and a support team to a destination. While there may not be a large customer base for such a configuration, it is still something Boeing is looking to explore as a means of expanding revenue sources and keep up with Airbus (who is already offering a comparable option).
New configurations seem to be popular at Boeing. Not long ago, BBJ had two simple products; the BBJ and the BBJ2. Currently Boeing offers 11 products in their commercial line. With that said, of the 228 private jetliners Boeing has sold, 164 of those are the 737 based BBJ.
While talks exist and Boeing has even announced that it will study the potential need for the Combi, don’t expect to see any cargo type BBJ with passenger seating for, at least, a couple of years. Boeing has proclaimed that they will not push toward development until they secure a launch customer.
FAA Proposes Strict Slot Limitations for New York Area Airports
The FAA submitted a proposal that would limit non-scheduled operations as follows:
- Newark International Airport (EWR): one slot per hour
- John F. Kennedy (JFK) to two per hour
- La Guardia Airport (LGA) would permanently adopt the current three per hour limitations
Parties opposing the proposed rule-making cite concern that the reduction in slots for unscheduled operations at EWR and JFK will have a significant impact on a broad range of operations. Further arguments cited the lack of industry data that would suggest congestion at these airports is in any way connected to non-scheduled operations.
Most business flights opt for Teterboro due to both economic efficiency and convenience; however, it is occasionally best to choose JFK, LGA, or EWR for logistical planning. Perhaps most concerning is the infrequent necessity of an emergency landing; EWR and JFK would no longer be alternatives when safety considerations would ordinarily warrant their use.
Ultimately, proponents of the rule-making are refuting the new rules based on the age old adage that the FAA is attempting to “solve a problem that doesn’t exist!”
What are your thoughts?
The First Gulfstream G500 Flight
Just seven months since we first saw the Gulfstream G500 roll out of their Savannah, GA headquarters the G500 flies for the first time. The flight took place on May 18th, 2015 and departed from the Savannah Hilton Head International airport and was piloted by Scott Martin and Kevin Claffy. Also along for the ride was flight-test engineer Bill Osborne.
The flight initiated with a climb to 10,500 feet and then the pilots took it to a speed of 194 knots; that’s approximately 223.25 mph. While that may seem quite fast it is a small percentage of the aircraft’s capabilities. In fact, the maximum operating speed of the Gulfstream G500 is Mach 0.925; that’s about 700 mph.
Notable Gulfstream G500 Specifications
5,000 nm 9,260 km
Typical Passenger Outfitting
Up to 18
Up to 8
Max Operating Speed (Mach)
Max Takeoff Weight
76,850 lbs 34,859 kg
Max Cruise Altitude
51,000 ft 15,545 m
What an amazing and delicious experience to dine with locals around the world! By dining with locals you are afforded a unique opportunity to experience homemade authentic meals. Often the menu incorporates meals prepared using recipes that are passed down through generations. Additionally, you enjoy these meals in the home of a local family; experiencing the true culture, authenticity, sincerity, and hospitality of the family in addition to a great meal! With more and more websites popping up to find a host family in your destination city, we have found Bon Appetour to be among our favorites!
Bon Appetour connects families spanning over five continents, 25 countries, and 50 cities and is growing rapidly.
No plans of traveling in the near future? How about becoming a host?
Taking a private jet and looking for something more exclusive? How about a premium meal prepared by a celebrity chef?
Learn more at Bon Appetour!
November is Aviation History Month! In celebration, we would like to share with you some major events in aviation. Our journey dates back to the 1500’s when Leonardo da Vinci drew pictures of flying machines. He obviously had birds in mind in his drawings, as he envisioned flying machines with wings that flapped (like a bird). Events such as the Wright Brothers’ first flight and the latest launch of the Space Shuttle are also highlighted.
From the earlier events mentioned here to today is absolutely amazing. To reflect on something we take for granted as having only been a dream (considered a far-fetched dream) to previous generations is amazing. Then to think about how evolved the performance capabilities of modern day jets is… I’m speechless! Working with private jet charter is something I am extremely passionate about. These “birds” are amazing!!! I hope you enjoy the timeline of events!
Leonardo da Vinci makes drawings of flying machines. He envisions them with wings that flap.
November 21 — Two noblemen from the court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette are the first to pilot a hot-air balloon. They mistakenly think that smoke, not heat, makes the balloon rise.
December 17 — Orville and Wilbur Wright take-off on the world’s first powered airplane flight in Kitty Hawk, NC. Their plane, the Wright Flyer, is airborne for 12 seconds.
August 1 — The U.S. Airforce is established.
July 25 — French aviator Louis Bleroit flies across the English Channel. He is the first person ever to arrive in England by a means other than water.
March 12 — Albert Berry makes the first ever parachute jump from an airplane over Jefferson Barracks Missouri.
John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown make the first nonstop transatlantic flight.
May 2 — U.S. Navy pilots Kelly and McCready, complete the first transcontinental flight from New York to California.
Two U.S. Army planes complete the first flight around the world. Four Douglas biplanes were built for the journey. The trip began in Seattle. Six months and six days later, two of the planes finished the 27,553-mile trip.
May 20 — Then airmail pilot Charles Lindbergh sets out from New York on the first-ever, solo flight across the Atlantic. 33 hours and 29 minutes later, he lands safely in Paris. Before he takes off, he is dubbed the “flying fool” for trying to fly the route alone.
October 5 — Clyde Pangborn and Hugh Herndon make the first nonstop flight across the Pacific.
Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly alone across the Atlantic Ocean.
Wiley Post completes the first round-the-world solo flight.
The jet-engine airplane makes its first successful flight.
July 28 — An army B-25 bomber crashes into the Empire State Building in New York City.
October 14 — Air Force Captain Chuck Yeager becomes the first person to break the sound barrier in the experimental X-1 aircraft. On Dec. 12, 1953, Yeager broke another speed record, flying 1,650 mph (Mach 2.5) in an X-1A rocket plane.
The U.S. Air Force makes the first nonstop round-the-world flight.
The first jet plane crosses the Atlantic.
January 31 — Ham the chimpanzee goes into space in a test of the Project Mercury capsule.
April 12 — Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gargarin becomes the first man in space. He completes one orbit of the earth, giving the Russians the edge in the “race to space.”
May 5 — Alan Shepard becomes the first American in space.
John Glen becomes the first American to orbit the earth.
Russian Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova becomes the first woman space-traveler. She flew aboard Vostok 6, and spent three days in orbit.
April 17 — Mrs. Jerrie Mock is the first woman to fly solo around the world.
March 18 — Russian cosmonaut Alexi Lenov becomes the first man to walk in space.
July 20 — Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to walk on the moon.
April 17 — Apollo 13 launches in the third lunar-landing attempt. The mission is aborted due to malfunctions. The crew miraculously returns safely to earth.
June 6 — The Russian spacecraft Soyuz 11 launches and links up with the first space station, Salyut 1. The spacecraft loses pressurization, and all four astronauts aboard die just before reentry.
The launch of the Skylab space station — the crew is in flight for a little over 28 days.
The Concorde SST lands for the first time in the United States.
The Space Shuttle Columbia — the first space craft designed specifically for reuse — launches for the first time.
Sally Ride becomes the first U.S. woman in space.
The Space Shuttle Challenger explodes 74 second after take off. Six astronauts and teacher Christa McAuliffe are killed.
On the Space Station Mir, Col. Vladimir Titov and Musa Manarov set the team record for time spent in space: 366 days.
The first paying passenger, Japanese journalist Tohiro Akiyama, goes into space aboard the Russian spacecraft Soyuz TM-11.
February 3 — The U.S. Space Shuttle Discovery lifts off to make the first rendezvous with the Russian Space Station Mir. On board is Col. Eileen Collins, the first female Shuttle pilot.
June 2 — The Space Shuttle Discovery’s ninth and final docking at the Russian Space Station Mir, setting the stage for the International Space Station Partnership.
October 29 — John Glenn returns to space, becoming the oldest man ever to make the trip. The Space Shuttle Discovery’s mission is to study the effects of aging in space, and to deploy and retrieve the Spartan solar-observing satellite.
December 4 — The Space Shuttle Endeavor launches, carrying hardware for International Space Station Assembly.
The up-and-coming Cessna Citation Latitude prototype has currently logged approximately 65 hours during 30 test flights. The first flight was February 18, 2014 and this twin-engine private jet aircraft has explored its full performance capabilities with logs showing it has reached a maximum speed of 440 knots with a ceiling of 45,000 feet.
Currently a second Latitude Private Jet is being prepared for flight in coming weeks.
This new twin-jet aircraft includes a new and larger fuselage. It has the wings, tail, and systems of the citation sovereign. Additionally, the new fuselage of the Latitude proudly includes the widest cabin of any Citation-made aircraft.
As for avionics the new Latitude features Garmin G 5000 avionics, an electronically operated door, and auto-throttle. Cessna expects FAA certification of the Latitude in next year (the second quarter of 2015). The new jet is expected to cost 14.9 million and is intended to fill the gap between the Citation XLS and Sovereign.
After several set-backs resulting from flight test delays, weather delays, and other mishaps, the Lear 85 (the ALL COMPOSITE Lear 85) flies!!!
Currently, Bombardier is calling their Learjet 85 “Flight Test Vehicle One (FTV1)” and it successfully completed its first test flight on April 9th. The new, mid-sized, aircraft is an all-composite twin-engine jet. The aircraft lifted from Wichita Airport at 8:19 AM Central time. The test flight lasted approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes. At the controls were Bombardier’s Flight Test Center chief flight-test pilot, Mr. Ed Grabman and his co-pilot was Jim Dwyer. Also on board was flight-test engineer Nick Weyers who monitored data during the flight. During the test flight they reached an altitude of 30,000 feet at a speed of 250 knots. Upon completion of the first test flight the crew reported that all controls were utilized and the test flight went as anticipated.
This is a superb accomplishment for the team. Performance was good! Considering that the test flight occurred four months behind schedule, the release date of the aircraft is now pending. It was originally set to release sometime around the middle of this; however, the certifying process has not yet begun and rumors say it can take as long as two years… our fingers are crossed that it won’t take quite so long and that the aircraft will hit the market at some point during 2015!
View full aircraft specs at: http://www.flightglobal.com/assets/getasset.aspx?ItemID=31214