Executive Insights

TAKE A LOOK | Inside Elon Musk's R1 billion private jet

Business Insider US
Elon Musk and the Gulfstream G650ER.
Patrick Pleul/picture alliance/Getty Images/Courtesy of Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation
  • Elon Musk bought a Gulfstream G650ER in March 2016.
  • While Musk says he doesn't own a home or a yacht, he has said that he finds having his own plane convenient. 
  • The billionaire flew more than 150,000 miles on the jet in 2018 alone, per the Washington Post.
  • For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Gulfstream's flagship plane, the G650ER, is a favourite among many wealthy individuals, including Elon Musk, the richest man in the world.

Gulfstream G650ER cruising the sky.
Courtesy of Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

The jet was built in 2015, and Musk acquired it in 2016. It isn't Musk's first plane: The Tesla CEO also owns a Dassault Falcon 900B, which he bought in 2004.

Amazon mogul Jeff Bezos and soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo each also reportedly own a Gulfstream G650ER.

In an interview with Chris Anderson at the TED Conference in April, Musk said he doesn't spend "billions of dollars a year in personal consumption" — but that the jet is an exception to his frugal lifestyle. Musk added that he doesn't own a home, a yacht, or take vacations.

"I mean, the one exception is the plane, but if I don't use the plane then I have less hours to work," he said in the interview.

The plane, which is under the registration N628TS, was in Austin, Texas, on April 15, according to a Twitter account that's run by a teenager and tracks the location of Musk's jet.

Musk and Tesla did not immediately reply to Insider's requests for comment.

Prices for the jet start from $66.5 million – just about R1 billion. Operating costs are typically in the millions of dollars.

Front exterior of the G650ER aircraft by Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation.
Power Sport Images/Getty Images

Musk spent $700,000 on his private jet in 2018 alone, flying around the US, Europe, and Asia, according to flight records obtained by the Washington Post.

Musk and his family flew on the plane for "recreational getaways," the Post reported. Musk also used the plane to ferry him around the Los Angeles area as he made trips in and out of his former five-mansion compound.

In 2018, Musk flew on over 250 flights, logging more than 150,000 miles on the plane, per the Post.

Using the jet typically racks up millions of dollars in operating costs. An hour flying the G650ER costs an average of $3,662, according to Corporate Jet Investor. 

The 19-seater jet is replete with a galley, where food and drinks can be prepared.

The galley on board the Gulfstream G650ER.
Courtesy of Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

The 99-foot-long jet has a customisable interior, according to Aircraft Exchange.

A typical layout would have a forward galley (pictured above) and four living areas. The company's virtual tour shows what the interior of the jet looks like with this particular layout.

The galley also has two storage compartments, a microwave, and a convection oven, the virtual tour shows. A touchscreen, which controls parts of the plane, is built into the front wall of the galley.

The jet has four living areas. The main cabin comprises of 10 seats and a sofa.

The living room inside the Gulfstream G650ER.
Courtesy of Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

The interior of the cabin is designed with contrasting pale leather seats and wooden furnishings. There are 12 oval windows in the forward cabin, which Gulfstream says are the largest in aviation. 

The seats have a footrest and can be partially reclined, the virtual tour shows. The seats can also be tilted to an angle to face each other or converted into beds.

The jet typically has two television screens in the main cabin — one built into the front of the galley, and another placed in the middle of two windows.

Fold-up tables are stowed at the side of the plane and can be combined to form a dining table.

The dining space on board the Gulfstream G650ER.
Courtesy of Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

There are several compartments at the side of the plane, including fold-up tables. A storage compartment with an ashtray is also located beside the seats, the virtual tour shows. 

The armrest can be opened to access several controls, including overhead lights.

Behind the main cabin is the VIP cabin, which has a sliding door for privacy. It is replete with a sofa and a seat, as well as television.

The jet has two bathrooms: The galley and the VIP cabin have one each.

Part of the bathroom in the Gulfstream G650ER's VIP cabin.
Courtesy of Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

There are no showers on board. Luggage is stored behind the lavatory, where there is a dedicated cargo area.

Get the best of our site emailed to you every weekday.

Go to the Business Insider front page for more stories.