If you’re considering buying a private jet for your business, let us first start by saying — congratulations! Nothing says "you’ve made it" more than a Gulfstream G650. But before you buy, it’s important to consider the costs of owning and operating your aircraft, as they extend well beyond the initial price tag.
Here at JETechnology, we make aircraft maintenance stands and ground support equipment for these jaw-dropping jets.
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A Brief G650 Lookback
The name G650 Jet has been synonymous with high status and luxury flight for years. Initially launched by Gulfstream in March 2008 — these jets have been the go-to option for power players around the globe. With unrivaled comfort and performance, the executive twin-jet model has a longer range and top speed than any other jet of the same size.
The secretive development of the G650 began three years before it’s unveiling. Gulfstream sold the first G650 jet to Steve Wynn — a real estate businessman and art collector whose name rests atop his hotel in the Vegas skyline.
Because of its timeless design and unparalleled performance, the G650 has held its value and has been highly sought-after since its debut.
Despite the rising and falling demand for similar business jet aircraft, the Gulfstream G650 has maintained its value — partially due to limited supply. When other jets aren’t selling, there’s still a waiting list twice as long as the available number of G650s for sale.
Winner of the Corporate Jet Investor’s "Aircraft of the Year" award in 2014, it’s well-respected by buyers and industry experts alike. Some other well-known owners of these jets include James Dyson, Howard Schultz of Starbucks, Phil Knight of Nike and Peter Jackson.
The world's elite covet the G650. Here’s why.
The main cabin of a G650 is eight feet six inches wide and 53 feet in length, including seven feet of storage area for carry-on baggage and 195 cubic feet of storage overall. It can hold 19 passengers and has convertible sleeping quarters for up to ten. Inside the main cabin, there’s enough room for three living areas, two bathrooms and a full kitchen.
Other features in the cabin include a satellite phone, seven-channel satellite communications system, WiFi network and a multifunction printer for in-flight business purposes. Gulfstream designed the cabin with advanced sound-suppression technology that reduces the in-flight noise by 18 percent when compared to similar aircraft. Also, the windows inside the cabin are engineered to significantly increase the amount of natural light — by almost double than other aircraft in its class.
The Gulfstream G650 syncs with your smartphone or mobile device and gives a touchscreen control for temperature, lighting and entertainment — you can even save your favorite setting combinations for future flights. You can also observe flight progress through the same application, as well as information on points of interest and passenger briefings from the crew.
The air circulation and pressure system are optimized to provide the perfect environment for high-altitude travel. At a cruising altitude of over 40,000 feet, the cabin is pressurized to replicate an incredible 3,290 feet — more than twice as low as any commercial aircraft and unmatched by any other jet in its class. Lower pressure means it’s easier for your heart and lungs to oxygenate your blood, which prevents common in-flight fatigue and allows you to arrive at your destination feeling fresh and alert.
The Gulfstream 650 has two Rolls-Royce BR725 A1-12 engines that produce 16,900 pounds of thrust — each! That power gives the jet a takeoff distance of 5,858 feet.
With eight passengers and three crew members, the G650 has a range of 7,000 nautical miles and a long-range speed of Mach 0.85. The maximum speed is Mach 0.925 — almost the speed of sound!
The G650 is equipped with state-of-the-art navigational technology to improve performance and safety. It has a Gulfstream Enhanced Vision System II — an infrared camera on the nose that gives your pilot detailed images of airports and terrain in even the harshest conditions.
The images created by the infrared camera and other navigation instruments can be configured to appear on a Heads-Up Display on your pilot's windshield. These images and data enhance the pilot's natural view to give them a clearer visual representation of what they’re seeing — it’s the most advanced private jet navigation system on the market.
What’s more — the G650 has a computer-controlled fly-by-wire flight control that takes take in-flight comfort to a new level. It works with the pilot to make many thousands of small adjustments for an astoundingly smooth ride.
Now that we’re all excited about the G650, what does it cost to join the elite group of G650 owners? We’ll take you through the costs you’re likely to encounter.
Costs of Ownership
First comes the initial purchase — this is often the only cost that people think of when buying a jet. You’re likely to pay somewhere between 46 and 55 million, depending on condition. However, this is far from the last expense — private jets require a hefty stream of revenue to operate year-round.
After the initial purchase of the jet, you can expect to pay between $1,500,000 and $2,500,000 annually if you fly for an average of 400 hours — this doesn’t account for depreciation or interest on payments.
Let’s break down the expenses.
Fixed Costs Per Year
Fixed costs are what you will pay even if your jet doesn’t leave the ground. Expenses like crew salary, storage, insurance, training and more need to be paid no matter what. These average around $690,000 per year:
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The cost of hiring pilots and flight attendants can depend on many variables, including their experience, certifications, trip time and their home location. A few considerations before hiring a crew:
- Check with your insurance company about the minimum requirements for the experience of your pilot and copilot. Depending on how you will use your jet — if you charter it out, for example — there are different requirements for the experience level and background of your crew.
- Who will be in charge of maintaining your jet? Sometimes companies will hire a pilot to be the full-time manager of their aircraft and set up maintenance routines and other repairs — others may feel more comfortable hiring a management company. Management companies often retain a roster of crew members that they use to ensure their clients always have a crew to fly.
- Another factor that can affect the cost of your crew is the length of your stay away from home. The shorter your trips are, the lower crew turnover you’ll have, and the less you’ll have to pay in salary and training for new crew members.
2. Crew Training
Any new crew member will likely have to undergo training before they’re legally allowed to serve aboard your jet. Management companies can help with this expense, as they will sometimes be able to absorb some of the cost through their fleet discounts.
Crew training can cost around $112,000.
When your jet isn't in use, you’ll need somewhere to keep it, which means paying for at least one hangar. Hangar costs vary by airport and city, as some are much busier and sought after than others. Some might locations offer a discount if they can use your hangar space for other aircraft when yours is in use.
Another option to save money is to store the jet at a less expensive hangar at a smaller, less populated airport — though you will incur more frequent maintenance cycles and increased flight hours.
Hangar fees can be around $100,000 a year for a G650.
Insurance costs for your jet also vary. If you choose to use a management company, they often have fleet policies, and you can become insured under their name at a discounted rate. Costs depend on the degree of coverage and the size and value of your aircraft.
Expect to pay over $50,000 per year.
5. Miscellaneous Fixed Costs
We added this category to point out that there are always extra costs such as navigational charts, software updates and electronics maintenance.
Budget $65,000 for unexpected fixed costs.
Operating costs are the expenses you incur from using your aircraft. Here are the main costs you can expect from flying:
Another critical reason to choose the right home base for you G650 is that fuel costs vary between airports. Since you’ll purchase most of the fuel for your jet at its home-base, choose an airport that has reasonable fuel prices. Another perk to hiring a management company is that they will help negotiate discounts with fuel providers and ensure pricing before landing — so you get the best pricing.
Expect to pay about $1,900 an hour for fuel.
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Every aircraft needs routine maintenance. If you choose to hire a management company that deals with a large fleet of aircraft, they often will have their maintenance facilities throughout the world. Your G650 can get the attention it deserves no matter where you’re doing business.
Some maintenance costs are predictable and are scheduled based on manufacturer instructions, so you can plan accordingly for these costs ahead of time and budget extra for unexpected repairs. Engine overhaul and other routine inspections are crucial for ensuring safety and performance with any aircraft.
Some maintenance programs function similar to insurance, where you pay periodically and then pull your maintenance costs from the pool of money.
Budget about $530 per hour of operation for maintenance costs.
Pros and Cons of Buying a Gulfstream G650
Some of the pros of buying a G650 include:
- For speed and comfort — the G650 stands alone. You’ll impress your business associates and anyone else lucky enough to step aboard.
- For large-cabin private aircraft, it’s the industry standard and outdoes all of its competitors in comfort, luxury and cutting-edge technology.
- The price. The G650 may be amazing, but it comes with a hefty price tag. There are more affordable options that may still satisfy your needs without breaking the bank.
- A G650 can be hard to come by because they’re always in demand. You’ll either be on a long waiting list or be bidding against the world's top brass.
Need a Maintenance Stand for Your Gulfstream G650?
We make aircraft maintenance platforms to protect your most valuable assets. And while the price of a G650 is steep, we value human safety above all else.
Not only do your maintenance technicians need the proper equipment to be safe while they work, but safety in the air only comes from thorough checks on the ground. When maintenance technicians are equipped with the best tools, including aircraft stands, they’re able to perform their job to the fullest and ensure no detail gets overlooked.
Our Gulfstream G650 Phase Maintenance Stand offers unparalleled access to all areas of a G650 and state-of-the-art tool integration. It’s a modular stand system that can interface with lights, electrical and pneumatic circuits and toolboxes — your technicians have everything they need within an arm’s reach. We test each stand design we make with Finite Element Analysis to ensure they have a 1,000-pound load capacity. You'll also get the following features and benefits:
1. Maneuverability and Convenient Storage
With less-sophisticated aviation maintenance stands, movement and storage can be an issue. Our customizable, modular Phase Maintenance Stand is constructed with ASTM Carbon Steel and 6061 aluminum. It only takes a few personnel or a forklift to move around, and its tough iron core allows for transfers by a truck without worry of damage. Only two technicians are needed to set up the entire aircraft platform within minutes. It also includes storage compartments for power tools and aircraft parts.
2. Fall Protection
All of the ground support equipment we manufacture provides the ultimate fall protection and are OSHA compliant for safety.
The G650 aircraft work stand includes:
- Interchangeable and removable guardrails
- Walking platforms equipped with anti-slip surfaces to prevent unsafe conditions
- Extension sliders that lock without any tooling — a single technician can safely put them into place in seconds
Our Gulfstream G650 Phase Maintenance Stand is one of the most durable designs on the market. It’s made to take a beating and continue to perform like new.
3. A Three-Year Warranty
We take personal pride in every product we make, which is why we offer a three-year warranty on all of our ground support equipment. We also provide an Operator's and Maintenance manual to help you keep your aircraft platforms in top shape. Upon request, we’ll visit your maintenance facility and show your technicians how to set up and use the equipment.
Trust JETechnology's Solutions for Quality
We earn our business with stellar customer service. Our clients keep coming back because we make sure they get nothing less than the best. With over 75 years of combined engineering and manufacturing experience, we create custom aircraft maintenance solutions that let your team do their best work.
We value safety above all and manufacture all of our products with 100 percent made-in-the-USA materials and labor.
If you have any other questions for our team or would like to talk with a JETechnology specialist about maintenance platforms for the G650 or other aircraft, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.