21 Ultimate Gifts: Two if by Air


A Gulfstream G650 ultralong-range jet.

A Gulfstream G280 super-midsize jet.

Starting at about $89 million

Ever since the Grumman Gulfstream GI twin-engine turboprop first took to the skies, in 1958, the Gulfstream name has been synonymous with the term business aircraft. Today, the Savannah, Ga.–based manufacturer, which was renamed Gulfstream Aerospace in 1982, offers what might be the industry’s most robust fleet, and each plane sits at or near the top of its category in terms of performance, reliability, and comfort. Gulfstream is also consistently ranked first by aviation-industry trade publications in customer service among business-aircraft manufacturers.

The company plans to begin delivering its two newest models by the end of this year, and already has a backlog of orders for each of the highly anticipated jets. Purchase of this gift secures delivery of a $25 million G280 in 2014 and a $64 million G650 in 2017.

The G280 is a super-midsize model capable of traveling nonstop between any two points in the contiguous United States. The ultralong-range, ultralarge-cabin G650, with an approximately 8,000-mile range that is nearly double that of the G280, can fly nonstop from New York to New Delhi or from Los Angeles to Hong Kong. With these two jets, the gift recipient will be able to travel efficiently to regional destinations and comfortably and conveniently to international destinations.

The G650 can achieve its 8,000-mile range while carrying eight passengers and four crew members, plus their luggage. The maximum capacity is 18 passengers. The jet’s cabin measures about 54 feet long, 8 feet 6 inches wide, and 6 feet 5 inches high. Gulfstream offers 12 different set configurations for the cabin, but the gift recipient can have it completely customized. Features and amenities can include a full galley, an espresso machine, a conference table, a private office, Internet access, high-definition pop-up TV screens, personal LCD monitors, a media server, forward and aft lavatories with mirrored vanities, and full-size couches that convert to twin-size sleeping berths.

Even when the G650 is flying at its maximum altitude of 51,000 feet, passengers will feel as though they are no higher than 4,850 feet. Passengers also benefit from the cabin’s 100 percent fresh air (instead of recirculated air) and 16 large windows that let in plenty of natural light. All three of these features can minimize passenger fatigue on long international flights.

The G280 offers fuel efficiency and flexibility, making it a good option for flights that do not call for the G650’s range or space. It burns less than 250 gallons per flight hour, compared with just under 400 gallons per hour for the G650, and it requires a runway of only 4,750 feet. The G280’s short field performance enables it to operate out of smaller airports such as the Napa County Airport in Northern California’s wine country or the Barnstable Municipal Airport on Cape Cod in Massachusetts.

The G280 has the largest cabin in the super-midsize class. It seats as many as 10 passengers in a space that is roughly 26 feet long and 6 feet high. The jet also has 154 cubic feet of in-flight-accessible baggage space.

Whatever the gift recipient’s mission requirements, the combination of a G280 and a G650 will satisfy them.

Gulfstream Aerospace, 912.965.3000, www.gulfstream.com

The dates of the first available deliveries of the jets are subject to change.