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Old 8th Jan 2009, 15:56   #1 (permalink)
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Why are Gulfstream II and IIB so cheap?


I need the "help" of someone knowledgeable on the subject.

I have been looking into prices of private jets for mid range and long range. I always expected to pay for a plane that would have a full load cruise speed of over 400ktas and would be able to accomodate 12 passengers or so with a range of about 3000 to 3500 nautical miles over 5 million US dollars. But recently it seems some Gulfstream IIs and IIBs are being offered for even 1.5 million USD or less, one of them even with about 7500 hours only and recent inspections. Comparable airplanes like the Challenger 600 or any similar Falcon or a Citation X will go for anywhere from 4 .5 million to upwards of 25 million.

My assumption is either the operational cost or some certifications I recently read about that I am guessing gulfstream II and IIB might not be able to pass and they will not be certifiable in the US (it is only my guess), hence they will have to be sold in other countries with less restrictions.

If it would be about the operational cost well for instance I am "retired" and manage money and I can easily make 10 to 20% on my money per year so why would I put an extra 3 million to get the same if the 3 million difference can make me 300k to 600k a year and that would easily offset the operational cost of the plane given the hours I plan to fly per year. When fuel is expensive the operational cost of such planes is about $4000 per hour and when fuel is cheaop it si about $2600 correct?

Plus inviting some people and having the ability to fly freely to many points in the globe the $3200 per hour average for the operation does not seem so high when considering a first class ticket in mid season to a popular destination would be above $10k per person (RT) and business class above $3.3k

Does anybody in here know why those gulfstream planes are now so cheap?

Your help will be greatly appreciated.

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Old 9th Jan 2009, 00:50   #2 (permalink)
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Let's see

Fuel burns

Noise (non-stage 3)

Fuel burns

Most need interior work-expensive

Maintenance costs on elderly plane


Out of date avionics

Lots of choices available for more modern or efficient planes

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Old 9th Jan 2009, 01:00   #3 (permalink)

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You could easily end up spending 2-3-400K on unscheduled maintenance. Corrosion repairs are VERY expensive...
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Old 9th Jan 2009, 10:36   #4 (permalink)
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Corrosion could be a good point I guess...

First of all thanks for the replies.

My opinion (but I guess I am ignorant or I could be wrong), for a 3 to 5 million dollar difference I can definitely live with the fuel burn (because it could be offset with money I can generate yearly with revenues from the diference in purchase price) and the noise for that differential is also ok I guess. The outdated avionics could be an issue I guess but not for the price difference.

My point is for instance. On the market there is a Gulfstream IISP 1979 (shorter range but still a good example) it has:

Airframe: Total Time: 7,995 Hours
Total Landings: 5,909
Engine(s): # 1 - Total Time: 7,779 Hours, 5,758 Cycles
# 2 - Total Time: 7,764 Hours, 5,738 Cycles

Due inspections:

InspectionIntervalLast AccomplishedNext Due HoursNext Due Calendar12 Month Progressive Phase Inspection #112 Months1/08N/A2/0912 Month Progressive Phase Inspection #212 Month4/08N/A4/0924 Month Progressive Phase Inspection #124 Months4/07N/A4/0924 Month Progressive Phase Inspection #224 Month4/08N/A4/1036 Month Inspection36 Months4/07N/A4/1048 Month Inspection48 Months3/06N/A3/1072 Month Progressive Phase Inspection #172 Months4/03N/A5/0972 Month Progressive Phase Inspection #272 Months3/06N/A3/12150 Hour Inspection150 Hours7936.6, 4/088086.6N/A200 Hour Inspection200 Hours7995.3, 10/088195.3N/A300 Hour Inspection300 Hours7936.6, 3/088236.6N/A150 Landing Inspection150 Landings58556005N/AEngine Overhaul L/H7000 Hours
240 Months5007
11/9912,00710/19Engine Overhaul R/H7000 Hours
240 Months4962
11/9911,96210/19Engine Mid-Life L/H3500 Hours
120 Months5007
11/99850712/09Engine Mid-Life R/H3500 Hours
120 Months4962
11/99846212/09Starter Gen. O/H R/H900 Hours7696.78596.7N/AStarter Gen. O/H L/H900 Hours7936.68836.6N/AAlternator O/H L/H2000 Hours7902.29902.2N/AAlternator O/H R/H2000 Hours79049904N/AA.C.M. Overhaul (Rec)5000 Hours699611,996N/A#1 Brake O/H (est Life)750 Landing58796629N/A#2 Brake O/H (est Life)750 Landings58796629N/A#3 Brake O/H (est Life)750 Landings57916541N/A#4 Brake O/H (est Life)750 Landings55956346N/AELT Battery Replace
Artex 406
48 Months4/07N/A3/11Landing Gear O/H5000 Landings5027, 2/0410,027N/AThrust Reverser O/H4000 Landings4061, 11/997927N/AAPU 36-100 H.S.I.2250 Hours4992, 6/057242N/A

They are asking $1.25 Million

I guess from there the engine Mid-life would be the scary ones in the near future correct?

Now there is also on the market a Challenger 600 1982 and the asking price is $4.25 million and it is supposedly a bargain (reduced drastically according to them), it has very similar hours and very similar inspections completed/scheduled.
The range of both planes is about the same, the Gulfstream has more room and it is faster, I have no clue about the avionics of one vs. the other but given the 3 year difference they might not be too big (but I have no idea), the operational costs of one vs. the other have about a 15% to 20% difference against the gulfstream at any given moment (according to most stats I can find) and with a 3 year difference in manufacture I don't see much difference in the possibility of corrosion of one versus the other so exactly where is the market seeing the 3 million difference?

I could easily have the $400k of unscheduled maintenance put on top of the $1.25 million and add on top of that another per say $250k to $500k to refit the interior (which by the way on the IISP is gorgeous so no need for that but anyway) and still I would come short a couple of millions.
I prefer the challenger but I just don't see why it would be 3 million more at an average.

Could any one help me to determine clearly why Gulfstreams II are so low in price now given this direct comparison?

Is there any other issue I cannot see on this.

Thanks in advance for the replies.
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Old 9th Jan 2009, 10:54   #5 (permalink)
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How many hours per year are you looking at? Considered chartering? NetJets, FlexJet, ExecuJet etc etc... This option would not require you to "lock" any cash. Reading your posts you give the impression that with cash on hand you could easily make enough returns on invested money to make up for increased fuel burn, maintenance etc .... How about investing the equivalent of a Challenger, in the price range you mentioned and aim for 15% (I have no clue) return? This would leave you with $600 000 + to spend on chartering an aircraft, no maintenance hassle, no crew to pay, no hotels for crew etc etc...

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Old 9th Jan 2009, 11:47   #6 (permalink)
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Older G's look like a bargain, however they are banned in most of the developed world due to noise, so where are you going to go except shuttle between Kinshasa and Punta del Este ( as long as you land and takeoff in daylight hours on a weekday)

You can't compare a stage II GII with a stage III Challenger.

The Challenger is most likely on an engine program.

There is always more then meets the eye, I love customers like you; more money then sense.
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Old 9th Jan 2009, 12:38   #7 (permalink)
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The main reason G2's & G3's are cheap is because as soon as the owner is able, they buy a G4!!

It all depends on the aircraft you buy. There are some great bargains out there to be had, just ensure that you buy a good one.

Fuel. We work out that we burn approx 5,500 lbs in the first hour, then 4,000lbs the next hour, then 3,500 lbs the next hour, then 3,000 lbs there after, so a 6 hour flight would average about 3,500 lbs an hour.

Noise. We aren't allowed into certain airports or we have to apply in advance for an exemption. 99.99% of the airports we use, we have no problems.

The avionics is to be as expected from a 1970's design, but most have been updated to RVSM. G2 avionics are DC & mainly analogue, and later G3's have digital instruments & AC. When you are the owner, sitting in your big seat in the cabin, you don't really care what avionics you have in the cockpit!

Maintenance is what you make of it. If you have your own man in a van or a sympathetic organisation, it isn't a problem. If you use Gulfstream aerospace then they will find everything & it will leave the factory in a 'as new condition'. There is a very good maintenance organisation in South Florida. If you bought a G2 or G3 with a Gulfstream pre-buy check then you are getting a thoroughly well checked aircraft at a good price! We go to Gulfstream and over the last 'X' years each scheduled 6 monthly check costs between $250k-$400.

Parts. There are quite a few scrapped aircraft out there so 2nd hand parts aren't that hard to come by.

Reliability. We've never had a problem. We only have problems when we are at the maintenance organisation.

Prestige. Most customers (& most people) can't tell the difference between a G2, G3, G4, G5, G350, G450, G550!!

So if you had a G2SP with a nice paint job & a nice interior, the customers would be pretty happy. Most seat about 12 (some seat 19!) with about 6'2" head height

There are a lot of very experienced crew in USA as that is where most G2 & G3's are based. Not too many crews in Europe, Africa & M.E.
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Old 9th Jan 2009, 14:42   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks so much for all the input..

Thanks so much to everyone for all the input.

I think I am getting a better idea now.

The main reason I was asking was answered in the last post I believe...

I live in South Florida where a lot of people are very very pretentious. I had the feeling that if you just change minor things and the name of something that automatically makes it more valuable for people that want to brag about things. Can you really go over $20 million higher going from a G IV to a G 550? Aside from range and a few features where exactly are the 20 million dollars? With 20 million dollars you can setup a bunch of houses, get a car collection, a decent yacht and set aside money to spend in whatever you want so where are the 20 million?

I am in the process of setting up residences in 3 different countries now that I have the freedom to live wherever I want (no longer tied to a business or so). I want to invite 8 to 10 people to spend seasons in those places and I want to figure out the most cost effective way to commute from one place to the other, the places are Mexico (3 cities there), the French Riviera, Fort Lauderdale in Florida and occasionaly the Bahamas. From france I would coccasionally hop to all sorts of destinations within the range of the plane for wuick two-three day trips.

Initially I thought of chartering a plane every time but $4500 to $5500 per hour seemed to be a lot and with less freedom assuming one of the pilots works for me full time and I am the co-pilot.

Fortunatelly money now comes easy and I think I could afford pretty much any plane but unlike many people I surround myself with I believe it makes no sense to "invest" (talk about an investment eh! more like dumping money) in something that goes down in price yearly, that costs a fortune to maintain and is used mainly to brag. And in my experience the higher you go in the price tag the higher it is to maintain in the end and the more money you lose (especially with fancy boats an yachts and airplanes). Maybe the operational cost would be lower but what about the money lost yearly in resale value? (if you but something new)

To me a GII sounded too cheap to be true but somehow if I did research could be doable, especially that IISP so I guess I can re-configure the question.

I was figuring if I do some 40,000 to 60,000 nautical miles per year needing to transport about 10 people (I guess that comes to about 150 hours per year or so) breaking it down in about 2 trips per month, is there anything I could do that would be more cost effective than for instance that GII SP assuming it is all ok and I spend per say $3000 per hour in operation costs.

The trips are:

Fort Lauderdale - Cancun (about 473 nautical miles)
Fort Lauderdale - Guadalajara (about 1315 nautical miles)
Cancun - Guadalajara (about 925 nautical miles)

Fort lauderdale - Bermuda (about 883 nautical miles)
Bermuda - Nice (about 3372 nautical miles)

or direct:

Fort Lauderdale - Nice ( about 4237 nautical miles)

So the numbers are:

Initial investment (which I can recover at a rate of probably 90% or 85% if I decide to get rid of it).

$1,250,000.000 (after negotiating final price and registering and so forth)

Unexpected expenses:


150 hours @ $3000 per hour (of course I would have to work out the ratios here given the hours used, insurance, fuel cost average and so forth but with present fuel cost it is a decent estimate I believe)


My pilot's yearly salaray (he also would be doing other things)


So I put upfront $1.4 million I can recover about $1 million if I sell

I spend $600,000 a year and I have the fredom to go wherever I want whenever I want.
I have also a Pilot with me that will also serve me as one of the drivers of the vehicles we will have on site (that would be the arrangement) and as the person taking care of supervising maintenance of the plane and "lodging" (or stationning) for the plane where we land.

That I think would equal to about 12 charter trips to Europe from Florida one way (I fall short in about half of what I need I believe).

Of course with this option I think I would also acquire a pile of headaches if things don't go as planned. (in which case I would proceed to immediately sell the plane).

I am dealing here with experts, so is there any other more cost efficient way to do what I am planning to do? or after all a GII SP sounds feasible?

I think the next decent plane I would consider would be in the range of a challenger 601-3A or a Falcon 50 but then the numbers go to over 6 million. And again with a differential of like 4 million it makes no sense financially.

Any thoughts or a cost study to get a better deal?

Thanks in advance...
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Old 9th Jan 2009, 16:25   #9 (permalink)
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G2 in Nice= no no no...stage ushkitted may be until mid 2009 but regs that will come into play early this year will not accept it...
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Old 9th Jan 2009, 16:56   #10 (permalink)
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According to OMNI the direct operating costs for a GII(B) a more likely to be in the 4.735 USD/hour range. How about a flight attendant and something to eat? Hotel for the flight crew? Parking fees? Flights to and from maintenance?

If you decide to get a flight attendant, don't let her order anything in Nice. Otherwise, catering is usually around 600 USD per passenger and flight.

Last edited by max.aret; 9th Jan 2009 at 17:27.
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Old 9th Jan 2009, 17:31   #11 (permalink)
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150 hours @ $3000 per hour (of course I would have to work out the ratios here given the hours used, insurance, fuel cost average and so forth but with present fuel cost it is a decent estimate I believe)
I think you are underestimating operating costs a lot. I'm not any specialist in GII but I would expect you will not get it lower than $4500 for a standart utilization (500-700 hrs annually) and for just 150 hours it may become sky high (double) - usually old design aircraft have lots of expensive items expiring on calendar basis.

On the other hand I don't think GII-B can really make Bermuda-Nice non-stop with 10 passengers.

Also I wouldn't count too much on possibility of sale of GII afterwards.... Market conditions and aircraft age suggesting it may stay yours forever or sold for scrap.

You are in very good position at the moment - number of bizjets for sale is now double of what it used to be recently, prices fallen down and you have the cash. If I was you I would find a good CL604 and make a real bargain.
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Old 9th Jan 2009, 17:56   #12 (permalink)
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The Gulfstream G11/and G11B are becoming very very cheap and sadly will be broken up for spares as time goes on.
Your correct in your ideas, fantastic aircraft with great performance etc,

Unfortunately the engines are becoming so expensive to maintain, Rolls-Royce Canada are no longer promoting overhauls and mid-life inspections.
The average cost of a overhaul is 1.2 Million each engine and 600-800 for a midlife inspection.
Some companies like Biz Jet and Dallas Airmotive are offering some special deals but not with the 3500 or 7000 interval 50% is usually offered.

Nearly all G11/G111 are rarely seen in europe due to stage 3 noise restrictions, some of the late G111 have been updated with one of the Hush kits on offer.
In summary I think the G11/G11B still has life left in it for some operations, but the end of the line is drawing in.
The Current Global market with sales on early GIV selling at 12.6 Million and some GV down to 33 Million which would fetch close to 42 a year ago.

I recently had to charter a G111 and the cost was $5700 Per Hour, G11/G11B would be in a slightly less range, and a GV is currently running at $7500 Per Hour.
Some fantastic deals on Fokker 100 platform, I know of a operation whom purchased 4, at 1.6 Million each they put long range tanks in, along with new paint and corporate interior, fantastic AC with stage 3 compliance and EASA certified.
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Old 9th Jan 2009, 22:49   #13 (permalink)
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Some fantastic deals on Fokker 100 platform, I know of a operation whom purchased 4, at 1.6 Million each they put long range tanks in, along with new paint and corporate interior, fantastic AC with stage 3 compliance and EASA certified.
The build-up cost for F100 wouldn't be very low, reaonable VIP interior alone will ask for $5m+. Aircraft originally built as an airliner tend to be quite expensive to run on a low utilization. F100, B737, MD87, BAE146 etc could be allright when you regularily need to carry 16+ persons and have a descent amount of flying. When they stay on the ground they eating money very fast. There are a few 737-200 HKIII on the market, low time, fancy golden sink etc for less than $10m (737 VIP interior costs anything between $8m to $20m alone), even more cheaper 727s but there are no takers, you may wonder why...
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Old 10th Jan 2009, 00:19   #14 (permalink)
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I crunched the numbers for a GIIB before...

If you want to break it down to the flight hour (I know, don't combine fixed cost into variables - but for the sake of the argument) - flight time of 150 hours/year - without setting anything aside for refurb or paint, but including maintenance, hangar, crew and other "minor" things like insurance, you are looking at close to $4,500/hr - provided you get $2,00/gal in FLL; let it rise back up to $5,00 and you are looking at $5,500/hr (assuming a fuel burn of 488gal/hr).

That said, nothing set aside for overflight permits and other international fees and other afore mentioned cost like catering and FA.

Is a GIIB with Stage III hush kits allowed in Nice? I don't know - but as you said yourself, the airplane is in its last 5 years of duty.
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Old 10th Jan 2009, 00:34   #15 (permalink)
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One thing that jumps out:

FLL to Nice and FLL to Mexico are very different missions.

Trans-oceanic 10+ hours and 2-3 hours across the Gulf of Mexico. That calls for different equipment

-While you are penciling out the cost of ownership, you sholud get a quote from Flex-jet for each trip.

-Also get quotes from AA & Air France out of KMIA.

Thse options have zero capital requirements and zero employee requrements.

If I were you, I would buy a nice King-Air large enough for my party to go to Mexico and to have the pride of ownership. You could fly it yourself with adequate safety margins. Then, when going to Europe reserve a portion of the first class cabin on Air France and drink/dine/sleep across the Atlantic with limo service to and from the airport curb.

The King-Air will hold its' value and you could lease it out if you wanted to.

The impressive factor in a King-Air is still present for members of the public. Walk around and sit in a nice -350 and see for your self.

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Old 10th Jan 2009, 04:10   #16 (permalink)
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Awesome guys, thanks so much!

See that is the difference of asking people that know, within 24 hours of asking this question in this forum I think I have all the answers I need.

Thank God someone referred me to this place.

Here is what I concluded after reading all the answers and adding my little grain of salt:

Only one person deffended the G II'S and apparently his position was that of either a long time owner/operator of several or perhaps someone trying to sell one. However taken from his own words if I were to maintain that plane using Gulfstream directly instead of a Mickey Mouse operation it would cost me just for inspections anywhere from $250k to $400k per semester that is $500k to $800k a year just to keep that thing "fly-able".

Adding the opinion of the other person the mid life engine inspections could end up costing over $1.5 million and they are due shortly. Then adding insurance, keeping a crew a few surprises here and there, then variable fuel cost and so forth plus the fact that it is a 30+ year old piece of equipment that go figure how safe can be to fly nowadays basically an owner of that type of aircraft could give me one of those FOR FREE and still in the end it would be a bad business for me or anybody that prides him or herself in making sound financial decisions.

Having an airplane is I think a thing of perhaps 50% convenience and 50% pride (from my point of view). But it sounds like not only that kind of business Jet but many others are a major burden if not used very often or perhaps even chartered to recover some of the operating costs.

My other option (to the person telling me about the King Air 350) was perhaps a Beech Jet Premier I (which can be found for about 3 million) for my flights in the USA Canada and Latin America because it has a decent range of about 1500 Nautical Miles and a not so depressing cruise speed and operating that thing is not so much and I can be certified to fly it single pilot eventually (since max take off weight is 12,500 lbs). It is a small plane and I can store it in a fairly small Hangar and Insurance and operating costs make some sense. It has a lavatory and it has configurations of up to 8 passengers plus the cockpit (although 6 pax would be more comfortable I think). It is made by Raytheon and if they make equipment that is military grade they must have incredibly reliable airplanes.

And for the rest of the flights (to Europe) using a commercial airline getting some sort of Corporate or VIP account since I would be booking 10 to 12 people at once in a higher class type of ticket regularly and I am sure with this economy it is not like they are rejecting proposals.

If the Beech Jet experiment would go well I would replicate it buying another one for Europe and keep one in America and one in Europe, that would match the about 6 million of a Challenger. And I would have the "Hassle" of booking commercial and going through the tedious procedures and stupidity of a commercial airport for the cross atlantic flight or then for those I would charter a state-of-the art, almost new, ridiculously overpriced Jet every once in a while when I would feel like burning money in a very stupid and not so sensitive way (then I would feel so much remorse and think of kids in africa and so forth..).

When looking at the Beech I looked at Cessna CJ's the Citation Mustang (what a joke with those cruise speeds) and also even the Eclipse E500 (but then I learned about the baknkruptcy and all the troubles and even funny incidents with avionics and software and their constant litigation in pretty much any country one wants to visit).

Does the Beech Premier I and Airline discount program sound more like a solution for my 40,000 to 60,000 nautical miles and a top $600k yearly budget for flights?

Oh BTW thank so much to everybody.

You guys are awesome.. with the exeption I guess of the guy that was a little bit condescending saying people with money pretty much have no "sense". I think if you make large sums of money you kind of have some sort of "sense" at least for some important things right? (otherwise how do you end up making serious sums of money?, well of cours there can be luck with like the lotto or inheritances or maybe doing something illegal or dishonest but in general if you make serious money I guess you cannot be that stupid after all..) I did not have "sense" when I was trying all sorts of businesses and doing any kind of work to make some money but then eventually you learn to have "sense" then the money comes..
Plus If I come to ask the experts something before making my decision isn't that what you would call gathering some "sense" by doing some brainstorming with intelligent and knowledgeable people so then you can come to some sort of consensus...

I love the internet! Not only can you make massive money in here but you can also solve all sorts of issues no matter how sophisticated and nowadays it only takes hours to do so..

I cannot even begin to imagine the piles of crap I would have heard from people trying to sell me their Airplanes had I gone directly to see a few of them before getting some sound advice.

One can always say this: if the persons giving you their opinions/advise do not see the opportunity of financial gain / loss then you will get an honest opinion...

Thanks so much!
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Old 10th Jan 2009, 14:56   #17 (permalink)
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Are you for real????????????????????????????????????????????
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Old 10th Jan 2009, 15:59   #18 (permalink)
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Lol , this is either a great wind-up or you are a bit of a fruit cake....a rich one at that . Puts my trying to decide on a new tv into perspective .Best thread in ages !
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Old 10th Jan 2009, 16:55   #19 (permalink)
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Surely chartering is the way to go?

There are enough Gulfstreams in southern USA or Europe to fly large parties between the 2 continents.

There are also enough smaller bizjets to perform the Mexico/Bermuda trips.

A bit more expensive per flight hour, but saves a lot of hassle of owning an older machine and employing your own staff.

I get the feeling that you flying your own jet is part of the reason you want one?
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Old 4th Feb 2009, 01:21   #20 (permalink)
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Apples and oranges, you can't compare the GII/III to a Challenger. Many marketers and brokers try and some rather successfully but they are 2 distinctly different airplanes. Gulfstream GII's were built in the early 1960's and the first Challenger 600 came about in 1980. So there's quite a bit of difference in age between the two aircraft. The GII also weighs in at 31,000 Kgs vs the 19,500Kgs for the 600.
But getting back to your question, the reason is simple, supply and demand. The newer aircraft operate more efficiently and more importantly have easier access to spares. These old aircraft are having a harder and harder time being supported by the manufacturer. Supply and demand also plays a strategic role in the cost of the aircraft. Many people want more efficient aircraft ( fuel, maintenance, and flexibility to operate wherever: noise). I remember about a decade or so ago the GII was around 1.5-2 million USD. A year later they shot back up again in price. ( My company bought 3 straight wings for a million a piece and had the winglets installed) I know a couple of people that use their GII's and GIIB's and enjoy it. They fly around 200 hours a year and have a full maintenance staff to keep the aircraft running and parts available when needed. the noise issue can be mitigated with a good flight planner unless you operate frequently into airports that ban the Stage II. The US will allow your hush kitted GII/III to operate as a stage 3 but you still have airport curfew and noise considerations. Europe is more difficult. Doable but difficult.
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