In recent years, many luxury fashion and design houses have ventured into the realm of the private jet cabin. Automobile and yacht designers are climbing aboard, too.
The road to a supersonic business jet has been excruciatingly slow, and most who have taken a stab at developing one over the last four decades have either folded, used the venture to secure government research grants, or relegated it to the back burner in favor of more economically expedient projects.
At the height of presidential primary season last spring, the New York Times reported that Donald Trump had been flying around “in his sleek Cessna jet” (a Citation X) even though its FAA registration had expired almost three months earlier.
James Carville and Mary Matalin, whose improbable marriage has now lasted 23 years, agree on at least two things: they love each other and they love business jets. But on many other issues, they remain at least as far apart as America’s two major political parties.
When an automobile executive says, “We’re not a car company. We’re a luxury company. We build a lifestyle,” my skepticism alarm sounds. But when that company is Rolls-Royce, there’s clearly some substance to the notion. At the invitation of this automaker, I found myself in Wyoming a few months ago, along with half a dozen other scribes, for a grand tour of that lifestyle in the new Rolls-Royce Dawn, a four-seat convertible with generous room in the back for two adults.
With prices at historic lows, inventories high, and retrofit options able to transform old airframes into like-new airplanes, will there ever be a better time to buy a preowned aircraft? Possibly, should the long slide in preowned prices that began in 2008 continue. Still, great opportunities for buyers await right now. Just be sure you enlist the help of a broker who possesses the technology that has become so crucial to these deals.
“You want to make sure with a race in which you'll be flying home with other drivers that you don't crash into them. It's happened before, and it can make for a little bit of a tense situation.”