There are many reasons why a celebrity might choose to buy a private jet. For many owning their own wings may be nothing more than a status symbol; for others, with the hectic schedules they keep, it is almost a business necessity. Although for a few, bitten by the bug, flying is their refuge and passion. Regardless of the reasoning behind the purchase, nothing says you are king of the hill and top of the heap like having your own jet sitting at your beck and call. Of course, even in the rarified air at 40,000 feet, there are those driving the aerial equivalent of a Kia and those riding around in a custom Rolls. The differences are subtle and easily missed by the untrained eye, but they exist.
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It shouldn’t be forgotten that before Trump was POTUS, he was “The Don”; TV star, business mogul, real-estate billionaire. With a penchant for lavish living, interests around the globe, and money to burn, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that he had a personal jet that actually outstripped Air Force One for luxury and comfort. Donald’s Boeing 757 cost him $100 million used, making it the 8th most expensive private jet in the world and features such niceties as 24-karat gold bathroom fixtures, cinema room, and a 4,100 nautical mile cruising range.
“The King” very likely started the personal jet craze when he purchased a 1962 Lockheed Jetstar so he and his dad could travel in private, but it was the Convair 880 named for his daughter, Lisa Marie, that was really his first love. With an interior redesigned by the same team that worked on Air Force One, Elvis’s flying home included a queen size master suite, private sleeping quarters for four guests, four television sets, 52-speaker sound system, 8-seat dining table, living room, kitchen, and gold-plated bathroom fixtures.
When you’re the highest-paid star in Tinseltown, run your own production company, star in a couple of television shows and dabble in real-estate all at the same time you’re a busy person, to say the least. The Rock is a notoriously hard worker who doesn’t have the time to wait on commercial flights, so it is only natural that he would buy one of the fastest private jets on the market. With a cruising speed of close to 600 mph and room for even a man of Dewayne’s stature, it is more of a flying office than mere transportation.
Jackie hasn’t been making a splash in Hollywood lately, but even at the age of 65, he has been doing anything besides sitting on his laurels. He is still making movies in Asia but is spending much more time in the producer’s and director’s chairs than in front of the camera and also has business interest spread throughout the Pacific Rim. With a $400 million empire spread over such a vast area, it is only good business to invest a mere twenty mill on an Embraer Legacy 500 to travel in comfort.
When you're married to the “Queen B” herself and the two of you combine for a net worth starting with a capital “B,” there really isn’t much normal about your life, including gift buying. Jay Z bought Beyonce a $4 million island, so she hit him back with a Bugatti Veyron for his birthday and followed that with a $40 million Bombardier Challenger 850 jet on Father’s Day. Considered the largest of the midsized jets on the market, the 850 came complete with a bedroom, two bathrooms, a kitchen, and open living space with a state-of-the-art entertainment system.
When you are the biggest IG star on the planet, one of the greatest footballers of all time, have your own luxury clothing line, and happen to have signed the world’s first billion-dollar endorsement contract, you are pretty free to spend the money any way you see fit. For CR7, that includes a cozy little $45 million Gulfstream G650 with just enough room for himself and maybe a dozen and half friends or so. While there is no doubt Cristie has the ways and means to live the jet setter lifestyle, he is more likely to be flying to see his four kids.
John Travolta wasn’t bitten by the flying bug; he was swallowed whole. His home literally is at the airport and comes complete with runway and hangar space for his five jets, including the Boeing 707-138 Airliner, ‘Jett Clipper Ella,’ that was gifted to him by Qantas Airlines. Not satisfied to simply be a passenger, John is a pilot with a Multi-Engine Commercial License, meaning that he has the skills and experience to fly pretty much any civilian plane out there, anywhere, at any time.
There aren’t many stars out there figuratively or literally bigger than media mogul Oprah Winfrey. Considering she is a certified billionaire who has primary homes on two continents and in Hawaii, it should not be a surprise she chose a Bombardier BD-700 as her private jet. The $42 million aircraft is large enough to seat 18 comfortably. More importantly, for Oprah, it has an extremely long-range, allowing it to reach virtually anywhere in the world with no more than one stop along the way.
Ok, this isn’t a jet, but how could you leave a plane that has graced album covers, book covers, billboards, and just happens to be owned by the Bama Parrot Man himself off of a list of about celebrity airplanes. ‘The Dancer’ is retired now at Margaritaville in Orlando, Florida, but lives on in song and word for all time. A little-known fact is that Jimmy’s father was an Albatross pilot during WWII who died in the line of duty, and he was partly raised by a fellow pilot, his dad’s best friend.
If you thought Travolta was skycap crazy then you’ll consider Harrison Ford to be a complete OG lunatic; he too is a pilot and regularly flies friends around in his Cessna 525B CJ3 Citation, but he also owns an Aviat A-1B Husky, Cessna 208B Grand Caravan, DHC-2 Beaver, Beechcraft B36TC Bonanza, Cessna 182, a Bell 407 helicopter. His pride and joy, though, is a vintage 929 Waco Taperwing, an open cockpit biplane that was once used to train student military pilots before jets were even dreamed of.
Morgan Freeman is known to be a very outspoken and plain-spoken member of the Hollywood elite. He owns three planes which he pilots himself including two jets; a Cessna Citation 501 and an Emivest SJ30, along with a Cessna 414 twin-engine turboprop. A man of true conviction who loves all things that fly, he has purported to have converted the large estate that he owns in Mississippi into a butterfly and bird sanctuary.
“If you buy things you don’t need, you will soon be selling things you do.” That is a direct quote from Warren Buffett, one of the most recognized financial wizards of our age and the wealthiest investor in the world. That is why when he bought his Bombardier Challenger 600, 20 years ago, he named it “The Indefensible” he had no excuse for spending the money other than being tired of airline terminals. He soon changed it to “The Indispensable” once he realized the advantages it brought to his work.
There are not many actors or producers who can boast a longer string of box office successes than Tom Cruise. Whether it is his work in front of the camera or influence behind the scenes as leader of Cruise/Wagner Productions, he is known for his meticulous attention to detail and no-nonsense approach to life. Maybe that is why his personal jet is a fairly stock, $36 million Gulfstream IV that has only had the entertainment system and engines upgraded beyond factory offerings.
‘Money’ has never been shy about flashing the cash and spending major bucks to help shore up his extravagant persona, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he owns two private jets — an older Lear and his latest a $36 million 2015 Gulfstream III that he had extensively customized. While there is plenty of bling like golden cup holders and drawer pulls in the full kitchen, most people who have privy are most surprised by how tasteful it actually is.
You may or may not recognize the prince's name, but as a man who has donated over $4 billion with a ‘B’ to charities around the world, he is a man that deserves to be recognized. A hands-on investor and member of the Saudi Royal Family, he spends a great deal of time traveling and chooses to do it in style. He owns a Hawker Siddeley 125 and an Airbus 321 but for long flights chooses his Boeing 747, which is said to include a king-size master suite and private accommodations for up to 14 of his friends.