Clash of the Titans: G650 vs. Falcon 8X

Gulfstream’s G650 and Dassault’s Falcon 8X are two of the biggest private jets in the world, seating 18-19 passengers with relative ease. They’re also some of the fastest and most expensive, both to purchase and to operate.

For consistency’s sake, we’ll use 200,000 miles per year as the common denominator in our comparison. The G650 cruises at around 502 knots, or 578 miles per hour, which means, in this scenario, you’re flying the Gulfstream 346 hours in a year. The Falcon 8X’s cruise speed is 474 knots, or 547 miles per hour, meaning it would take you 366 hours to fly 200,000 miles. Based on both fixed and direct costs, let’s see how much it would cost to operate each of these planes for a year.

For the video version of this comparison with numbers updated for 2019, click the preview below!

Gulfstream G650

Direct Hourly Costs

Gulfstream’s G650 burns right around 452.70 gallons of fuel per hour. At $5.00 a gallon, fuel is going to cost you $2,263.50 per hour. You can expect maintenance on a G650 to cost around $1,191.76 per hour. $346.17 of that is for the airframe, and $845.59 is for the engine and APU. With that being said, you’ll spend $3,455.26 on direct costs every hour between fuel and maintenance. At 346 hours, or 200,000 miles, that’s a total of $1,195,519.96 each year.

Fixed Annual Costs

Crew expenses for the G650 are, on average, $227,175.00 annually. To hangar the G650, you’ll likely pay $55,867.50 for the year. Insurance, including hull and legal liability, will cost you $56,598.75 for the year. Pilot training will cost you $64,155.00 for the year. All of those fixed costs combined gives you a total of $403,796.25 annually.

At 346 hours, we’re looking at the following costs:

Total annual direct costs: $1,195,519.96
Total annual fixed costs: $403,796.25
Total annual cost: $1,599,316.21


Falcon 8X

Direct Hourly Costs

The Falcon 8X burns 346.50 gallons of fuel per hour, which, at $5.00 a gallon, is $1,732.50 per hour. Maintenance on the Falcon is $835.69 per hour, on average, including $235.26 for the airframe and $600.43 for the engine/APU. Total fuel and maintenance costs give you a combined direct hourly cost of $2,568.19. At 409 hours (200,000 miles), you’re looking at spending $939,957.54 annually on direct operating costs.

Fixed Annual Costs

You’ll pay your Falcon crew approximately $227,175.00 annually. You’re looking at about $78,800.00 to hangar the 8X for a year, insurance will cost you $44,850.00 for the year, and pilot training will cost you $64,155.00. With all of that in mind, total fixed costs will be about $414,980.00 annually.

At 366 hours, that gives us:

Total annual direct costs: $939,957.54
Total annual fixed costs: $414,980.00
Total annual cost: $1,354,937.54



Over the course of a year, you’d pay close to $250,000 more to fly the Gulfstream over the Falcon. Most of that extra money is going toward fuel and maintenance on the G650’s Rolls-Royce BR725 engines. That extra money also gets you a bigger, more powerful plane. The G650’s cabin is more than seven feet longer than the Falcon 8X’s, and seven inches wider.

VREF has the retail value of a 2016 G650 at $63 million, and a 2006 Falcon 8X at $57.5 million. In that case, you’re spending an extra $5.5 million on the purchase of the Gulfstream and an extra $250,000 or so each year.

The G650 is considered by many to be the most luxurious, impressive business jet in the world, so it has the price tag to match. The Falcon 8X is up there, as well, and its three engines and massive frame give it a ramp presence to rival the G650’s.

Any takers?

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*Numbers provided by Aircraft Cost Calculator

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