After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn't Good Enough Anymore (50 pics)

Posted in INTERESTING       9 May 2016       6055      

A journalist from Business Insider took a trip to Savannah to visit Gulfstream's headquarters, a Georgia-based business jet aircraft manufacturer. He, along with several other journalists, could enjoy a private flight on a Gulfstream G550. Here's his story about his trip, the jet and what he saw at the company's HQ.

 

The trip started at the Jet Aviation private-jet terminal on the grounds of Teterboro Airport in New Jersey. Like Gulfstream, Jet Aviation is part of the General Dynamics family of companies.

1 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

Inside the Jet Aviation terminal, those who are fortunate enough to fly are treated to all of the services rendered at a traditional airport, but ...

2 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

... in a much nicer and more private setting.

3 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

Want to watch some TV while waiting for your flight? Here you go.

4 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

Just in case you forget that you're at an airport.

5 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

We stepped outside to hop on a shuttle that led us to ...

6 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

... our awaiting Gulfstream G550.

7 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

The $61.5 million G550 entered service in 2003 and was the company's flagship model until ...

8 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

... the introduction of the larger and more expensive $66.8 million G650 in 2012.

9 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

The G550 has a range of nearly 7,800 miles and reaches a maximum altitude of 51,000 feet.

10 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

It's powered by a pair of Rolls-Royce BR710 turbofan engines — each producing up to 15,385 pounds of thrust.

11 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

The G550's rivals include the Embraer Lineage 1000 from Brazil and ...

12 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

... Canada's Bombardier Global 6000.

13 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

Once onboard, we prepared for takeoff.

14 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

We taxied past other Gulfstream jets on the way to the runway.

15 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

Takeoff time!

16 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

The G550's Rolls-Royce turbofans spooled up quickly, and we were soon off the ground. The Gulfstream bolted down the runway like a hot-rod down a drag strip. This is acceleration unlike anything I've experience before in a car or on a plane.

17 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

Here's Newark Liberty International Airport.

18 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

The jet quickly reached our cruising altitude of more than 30,000 feet.

19 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

At cruising altitude, the Gulfstream was Rolls-Royce quiet. The only noise in the cabin came from the passengers.

20 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

The G550's spacious cabin can seat up to 19 passengers or offer sleeping accommodations for up to eight. But our plane was set up to sit around 13 passengers in three different sections.

21 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

This includes a lounge section up front, a conference table in the middle section of the plane, and a divan in the aft portion.

22 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

Across from the conference table is a large credenza with a wall-mounted flat-screen.

23 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

The plane's galley and forward lavatory are between the main cabin and the cockpit.

24 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

The main cabin is separated from the crew area of the aircraft by a bulkhead and wood-veneer sliding door. The veneer found for our jet came from one wood log. The company even keeps spare pieces of the log around in case repairs are required in the future.

25 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

The G550's seats are incredibly comfortable. They're soft and supportive without giving you the feeling that you're sinking into them like a La-Z-Boy. Every piece of leather used to upholster the jet's interior is inspected in great detail, and even tiny blemishes are removed.

26 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

At every seat is a personal audio/video display.

27 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

Some settings can be controlled through an iPhone app.

28 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

This includes control of the window shades ...

29 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

... the climate ...

30 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

... the entertainment playing on each screen and speaker, as well as ...

31 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

... flight information.

32 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

We were served a nice breakfast on our trip down to the Peach State. The galleys on board these jets are tailored to fit the needs of the customer, so everything from espresso makers to rice cookers can be optioned.

33 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

I took some time just to look out the window. What a view!

34 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

In the cockpit, the sizable G550 requires two pilots to operate. Small business jets such as the HondaJet can fly with just one pilot.

35 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

The G550 features Gulfstream's PlaneView avionics system, which was developed in conjunction with Honeywell. The cockpit features four large LCD instrument readouts.

36 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

Our flight to Savannah took less than two hours.

37 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

Our destination was Gulfstream's headquarters at Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport.

38 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

After landing, our jet pulled up right to the front door of Gulfstream's customer center.

39 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

They even rolled out the red carpet!

40 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

In Savannah, we met with the company's executives and got a peek at the dizzying array of interior materials on offer, courtesy of the Gulfstream's head of interior design, Tray Crow.

41 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

I also took a tour of Gulfstream's G450/G550 production facility, where the company is working away at its $13 billion backlog of orders.

42 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

Finally, we got a chance to check out a mock-up of Gulfstream's next generation, the G600.

43 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

All the while, our G550 was getting refueled and prepped for our trip back to New Jersey.

44 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

At the end of a long day, we hopped back on the jet for the trip home.

45 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

Parked next to the G550 was Gulfstream's maintenance jet, used to quickly dispatch parts and mechanics to far-flung destinations.

46 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

We were served a light dinner.

47 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

I spent the flight back checking out some of the plane's in-flight entertainment features. The flight maps include fun facts about the places over which we were flying.

48 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

After a relatively short flight back, we landed at dusk in New Jersey.

49 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn

Before this trip, I knew that flying in a private jet was pleasant and convenient, but I didn't expect it to be quite this amazing. The large private jet can essentially be anything you want it to be — from flying office to hotel room to night club. It makes flying first class seem a bit ... boring. But with a $61.5 million price tag, the Gulfstream experience is exactly what you pay for.

50 After Flying On A $61.5 Million Private Jet, A Guy Says The First Class Isn


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