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Jets of the Stars

More and more stars can be found in the sky aboard jets they own and some even pilot. They tend to be older stars not because of generational reasons but because jet ownership tends to require a net worth in excess of $100 million. Such is the case of private jet owners Morgan Freeman, Harrison Ford, Tom Cruise, Jim Carrey, Tiger Woods, Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Celine Dion and John Travolta. .

Morgan Freeman: SyberJet SJ30

SyberJet SJ30k With a net worth of $200 million, the Academy Award actor and resonating voice of several commercials is his own pilot. Freeman’s  $7.5 million jet, lauded for its speed and fuel efficiency, can travel  nonstop 2,887 miles at a cruising speed of 500 mph. The plane is certified for a single pilot, which enables it to accommodate six passengers if one occupies the cockpit. The jet cruises at more than 500 mph at a ceiling of 49,000 feet.

Harrison Ford: Cessna 525B CJ3 Citation

Cessna 525BThe question posed by actor Harrison Ford is what kind of aircraft is he piloting this week—jet, prop, helicopter or spaceship?  Ford’s  Cessna is a single-pilot jet that accommodates nine passengers, cruises at 478 miles per hour and has a maximum range 2,347 miles. Ford’s net worth is $210 million; his jet retails at about $8 million.

Tom Cruise: Gulfstream IV

Gulfstream IVThe actor became enthusiastic about aviation after starring in "Top Gun" (1986). With a net worth of $470 million, Cruise could afford to indulge his passion with the purchase of a $36 million Gulf Stream IV. The plane accommodates a crew of two and as many as 16 passengers. It’s range is 4,220 miles and cruising speed 528 mph.

Jim Carrey: Gulfstream V

Gulfstream VWith a net worth of $150 million, the comedienne, actor and producer is an aviation enthusiast who retains an experienced crew of two for a $40 million Gulf Stream V with state of the art avionics. The Gulfstream V’s cruising speed is 562 mph, maximum altitude 51,000 feet,  and range 6,675 miles. The jet accommodates 16 passengers.  Carrey offsets this cost by chartering the aircraft at $8,000 an hour. Chartering is a common practice of private jet owners, who on average use their planes only 150 hours a year, according to Private Jet Strategies.

Tiger Woods: Gulfstream G550

Gulfstream G550Every golf course is one flight away aboard the Gulfstream G550 of Tiger Woods.  Having amassed a fortune estimated at more than $1 billion, the winner of 15 major tournaments trots the globe in a $53 million jet that accommodates two pilots, two attendants and a crew of up to 19. Its cruising speed is 652 mph and its maximum range is 7,767 miles. According to Flying Magazine, Gulfstream G550 is the “leader in large-cabin jets that flies faster, farther, with a roomier cabin and the most exotic avionics system in the air.”

Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg and Celine Dion: Bombardier Global Express XRS

Bombardier Global Express XRS“It’s great to have a private jet.” So Oprah Winfrey told the Wall Street Journal in 2009. With a crew of three, the all-leather interior can comfortably accommodate 14 passengers.  Its bathroom and galley are complete with luxurious designer fixtures. It can fly 16 hours without refueling--more than enough to fly non-stop between New York and Tokyo. The jet’s cruising speed is 652 mph and its altitude ceiling is 51,000 feet. Price tag: $44 million. It’s a small price to pay if you are media mogul Winfrey, net worth is $3.1 billion; or director/producer Steven Spielberg, net worth $3 billion; or Celine Dion, net worth $630 million.

John Travolta, Boeing 707-138

Boeing 707Actor John Travolta has the certification and flight hours to easily qualify as a commercial pilot for a major airline. With a net worth of $170 million, he owns multiple aircraft, including a Boeing 707-138 airliner. The 707-138 is one of seven versions of the Boeing 707-120 customized in 1959 for Quantas at a cost of $4.3 million each. The airliner can accommodate 189 passengers and a crew of four in the cockpit. With a cruising speed of 570 mph and elevation of 41,000, the range of the 707-138 varies from 2,646 to 4,350 miles depending on size of payload.

For a comprehensive article on new business jets available today, see "Companies that Build Business Jets."

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