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No longer is speed the only consideration when flying private; business jets must be able to go the distance.
By Kim Ayling | November 11 2020
When it comes to business aviation there’s lot to consider, with speed, comfort and cost being among the top concerns. However, range is of equal importance, with the longest range private jets being amongst the most coveted. After all, is there any point in flying at top speed if you need to land to refuel halfway through your journey?
Measured in nautical miles (nm), simply put, range is how far a plane can fly. If your travels regularly take you across the world, be it for business or pleasure, range should be at the top of your priority list when choosing a private jet for charter or purchase. Of course, top range will be dramatically affected by a series of factors including on board weight, fuel capacity and wind conditions, with the figures outlined below being the maximum distance particular private jets can travel.
With multiple aviation companies jostling for the top spot, we round up the longest range private jets in the world right now, as well as examine how these superior aircrafts are committing to passenger comfort when on board.
Launched in late 2018, the twin-engine Boeing Business Jet 777X is hailed as being the longest range private jet available, completely elevating the range expectations in the private aviation industry. Capable of flying over 11,500nm before needing to refuel – even with 75 passengers on board – the impressive range allows the aircraft to fly between any two cities across the world without stopping.
With a 2,356-sq-ft cabin, with a width of 19 ft 7in, the BBJ 777X has scope for virtually unlimited customization, allowing the aircraft to become an extension of your home, rather than just a means of transport. Of course, the superior range and interior comfort warrant a high price point; at around $400 million (not including customization) the BBJ 777X is one of the most expensive private jets on the market.
Boeing rules the skies when it comes to long-range private jets, with the second on our list also from the renowned aviation company. Initially designed as a commercial aircraft, the Boeing Dreamliner 787 has been reimagined as a business jet, with an industry-leading range of almost 10,000nm allowing for extensive non-stop travel.
As you would expect of an aircraft with up to 17 hours flying time, the BBJ 787’s interiors are spacious and comfortable, with high domed ceilings and ample lounging space. The airplane has also been configured to pressurize its cabin 2,000ft below its competitors, minimizing jetlag and improving overall on board comfort, which becomes more important than ever on longer journeys.
The Bombardier Global 7500 has the capability to travel 7,700nm non-stop, which at one point was the further range for any private jet – until Boeing flexed its muscles. This range allows for travel between the world’s major city pairings, including Singapore to San Francisco and Miami to Dubai.
While the 7500 only has a mere 200nm of extra range compared to the next aircraft in our list, the difference in size is what really sets two long-range private jets apart. The Global 7500’s cabin is over 6 ft longer than that of the Gulfstream G650ER which, depending on configuration, could be the difference between an extra office space or washroom. Although this may seem menial on solid ground, this additional space will make the world of difference when flying non-stop halfway across the globe.
For a significant amount of time, Gulfstream was considered the gold standard when it came to long-range private jets but, as outlined above, recent offerings from Bombardier and Boeing have seen the American manufacturer knocked off the top spot.
However, this isn’t to say that Gulfstream has been banished from the long-range private aviation conversation altogether. As of late 2020 the Gulfstream G650ER, which features a Rolls-Royce engine, is still among the longest range private jets on the market, with a maximum distance of 7,500nm. Also, while not the farthest flying, the G650ER can boast of other desirable features that continue to make it a first choice for frequent fliers, including the lowest cabin altitude and largest windows in the business aviation industry.
The Falcon 8X is the latest business jet from French aviation brand, Dassault – and, with an extra 500nm on its predecessor, the furthest flying. In true Dassault fashion, nothing is compromised to make way for the extra distance capability: thanks to overall design enhancements and superior aviation technology, the 8X is equally as fuel-efficient as the 7X.
The other comparable benefits of the Falcon 8X shouldn’t be ignored; for example, it’s smaller size allows it to take off and land at the world’s smaller airports, such as London City, for added convenience. Although at the bottom of our round up of the longest range private jets, we should note that the Falcon 8x was initially previewed back in 2017, leaving aviation experts to speculate about when their next offering can be expected.