Private Jet Spotlight: Gulfstream V/G550

Simply one of the best.

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Note: For information purposes only. Not intended as personalized legal, tax, or financial advice of any sort. Please consult a qualified professional.

For a broad overview on the benefits of private jet travel, please see our previous post.

We’ve talked before about how private jets offer a level of luxury and freedom you simply cannot find with commercial airlines. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at one of the undisputed champions of the private jet world: The Gulfstream V.

The GV (pronounced “G-Five”) is a long-range, large business jet aircraft produced by Gulfstream Aerospace, and the successor to the previous generation Gulfstream IV. GV models can fly at speeds of up to Mach 0.885, to heights of up to 51,000 feet, and has a maximum range of 6,500 nmi (7,480 mi) range. They typically accommodate a crew of four and up to 14 passengers. The first Gulfstream V flew on November 28, 1995, and entered service in June 1997, and many of the 193 models produced remain in service to this day.

The Gulfstream V was developed in response to Bombardier Aerospace’s Global Express. Its engines are two Rolls-Royce BR700-710A1-10, with thrust reversers and composite flight control surfaces. Compared to the previous generation Gulfstream IV, the horizontal tail area is 30% larger, wingspan is increased from 74.6 ft to 93.5 ft, the fuselage is lengthened by 5 foot forward of the main entry door, and by 2 foot aft of the wing. Maximum takeoff and landing weights are also increased by 15%.

The GV’s three zone cabin is similar to the G-IV, but smaller than the Global Express, while its dispatch reliability, cabin noise and fuel efficiency compare favorably against its competitors of the same era. Compared to the similarly priced Global Express, the GV offers more range and is more fuel efficient while the Bombardier offers better runway performance, a larger cabin and a softer ride.

In 2004, Gulfstream’s parent company, General Dynamics, released an upgraded version of the GV. Originally given the internal project name GV-SP, the world came to know it as the Gulfstream G550.

Compared to the Gulfstream V, improvements in drag reduction boosted the G550’s range by 250 nmi as well as increased fuel efficiency. Maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) was increased by 500 lb, and takeoff performance was enhanced. A seventh pair of windows was added and the entry door was moved 2 feet forward to increase usable cabin length.

The G550’s PlaneView flight deck features cursor control devices, Honeywell Primus Epic avionics, standard head-up guidance system by Rockwell Collins and enhanced vision system by Elbit, improving situational awareness in reduced visibility conditions. These same features can be installed into older GV’s and even G-IV’s, thanks to the older generations’ modular designs.

In October 2019, Gulfstream introduced the G550’s successor, the G600. The G550’s production was limited, so as to devote more resources to the new G600. Finally, in July 2021, production ended on the G550, with over 600 aircraft in service.

Since 2019, a Gulfstream V can be had for around USD$10 million. A fixer-upper GV will cost just under USD$6 million, and a late model low-time aircraft will run you around USD$13 million.

Since 2017, the valuation on an average 10-year-old G550 is now worth USD$18-$20 million, while a two-year-old model stands at approximately USD$35 million. Early 2003 G550s are valued at around USD$14 million, while a 2012-2013 G550 is valued around USD$28-31 million.

If a Gulfstream V or G550 is right for you, please consult with experts who know what they are doing, and can guide you through the purchase process.

Owning a private jet or making use of charters and fractional ownership can be an important tool in making your plans to Escape From The West. By freeing yourself from the restrictions of commercial air travel, you give yourself more options and greater mobility, as well as opening yourself up to more luxurious means of traveling the world.

To Escape From The West is about more than just leaving behind your old life. It’s also about taking those first steps into a better life.

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