The Price of Nine Private Airplanes, Including the Boeing Business Jet
Many pilots dream of buying their own private airplane someday. For most people, the cost is a major factor in determining which aircraft they could live that dream in.
The Price of an Airplane
The cost of an airplane depends on the type of aircraft, how old it is, how well it's been maintained, the engine type, and the avionics package of electronic systems used in the plane, among other variables.
These variables are what makes it possible for the same type of used aircraft to be offered for sale at such a wide range of prices. Here are some examples of what certain types of airplanes cost, both new and used, where applicable.
The Piper Cub
The Piper J-3 Cub is a timeless aircraft. Built in the 1930s and '40s, it’s a simple tailwheel airplane with front and back seating for two, and it remains beloved among pilots today.
It’s said that during World War II, the Piper Cub was produced at a rate of one every 20 minutes, and it also happened to be affordable. That's why it became a popular personal aircraft for post-war pilots, and it is still a popular and affordable option today.
The Cessna 172
Heralded as the most popular training aircraft in the world, the Cessna 172 is also a popular option for general aviation pilots looking to buy a personal airplane. It’s easy to fly, stable, and, for many pilots, comfortable. Since many pilots accrue multiple hours in a 172 during training, they would know the aircraft inside and out before purchasing it.
The 172 seats four people, has a maximum range of 640 nautical miles, and can cruise at 124 knots true airspeed (KTAS).
A decades-old Cessna 172 can cost less than $50,000, and a brand-new, off-the-line Cessna 172S Skyhawk has a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $398,000, according to a spokeswoman at Textron Aviation, which owns both Cessna and Beechcraft.
The Beechcraft Baron G58
The Beechcraft Baron G58 is one of the most popular twin-engine aircraft. The latest planes come with two 300-horsepower engines that can cruise at 202 KTAS for a range of 1,480 nautical miles. And they can fit up to six passengers.
An older model with outdated avionics might run less than $200,000, while a factory-fresh model has an MSRP of $1.5 million.
The Eclipse 550
One Aviation says its Eclipse 550, which uses only 48-59 gallons of fuel per hour, is the most fuel-efficient twin-engine jet in its class. With a maximum cruise speed of 375 knots and a range of 1,125 nautical miles, the 550 is a small but technologically advanced business jet designed for single-pilot operations and brings the light-jet market to the average pilot-businessperson. The Eclipse 550 sells for a base price of about $3 million. Its predecessor, the Eclipse 500, can be bought used for about $500,000 to $1.25 million.
The Pilatus PC-12
The Pilatus PC-12, a fairly new-to-market single-engine turboprop, has quickly claimed its place in multiple markets as a safe, reliable aircraft. But it'll cost you: A used PC-12 from the late '90s or early aughts will run about $2 million, while the price of a new, typically equipped one is $5 million.
The Learjet 75
A new Learjet 75 Liberty will cost you $9.9 million. This light business jet can accommodate up to seven passengers while cruising at 0.81 Mach over a range of 2,080 nautical miles. A previously owned 2014 Learjet 75 can typically be purchased for $5 million-$6 million.
The Embraer Legacy 650
The Embraer Legacy 650E is a super midsize business aircraft that can travel at Mach 0.8 over a maximum range of 3,900 nautical miles (with four passengers). You can buy a used prior Legacy model, a 2017 Legacy 500, for about $16 million, and you'd pay about $30 million for a brand new 650E.
The Gulfstream G650ER
As business jets go, the ultra-long-range Gulfstream G650ER is just about as good as it gets. The G650ER can fly over a range of 7,500 nautical miles at Mach 0.85 or 6,400 nautical miles at Mach 0.9. A new one will set you back $71.5 million, while a used one with a model year of 2013 should cost somewhere around $45 million.
The Boeing Business Jet (BBJ)
If the Gulfstream G650 isn't quite big enough, there's always the Boeing Business Jet. A BBJ is a commercial airplane modified for private air travel and may include private bedrooms and bathrooms, conference rooms, kitchens, and seating for 25-75 passengers.
A "green" version of the BBJ737—what Boeing calls the plane without a designed interior—could be yours for $74 million. The interior will cost an additional $25 million-$40 million.
If you want a plane that could take you more than halfway around the world without stopping, you would need to upgrade to a green BBJ777 for $475 million. Interior furnishings will tack on another $90 million-$175 million.
If those prices are too dear, a previously owned BBJ737 should cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $40 million.