Only the lesser rich ride Gulfstreams these days. For the really rich, the private jet of choice is a jumbo. Preferrably with two stories and lots of luxury baths.
Boeing recently delivered its Aeroloft, above, a tricked-out 747-8 jet designed by Greenpoint Technologies for a single very rich owner.
While the usual 747-8 has an upper deck only in the front of the plane, the Aeroloft adds a mini-second floor to the back.
The loft adds an additional 393 square feet to the cabin, bringing its total cabin space to 5,179 square feet. Basically, it’s a McMansion in the sky. (Read more: The Most Expensive Apartments in New York City)
The loft fits eight private sleeping berths and a changing room “providing a comfortable rest area during flight.” It’s ideal for a VIP entourage: the buyer of this particular plane is a Middle Eastern head of state.
Two additional BBJ 747-8s with Aerolofts are scheduled to be delivered in 2012. While the price of the Aerolft hasn't been disclosed, the basic Boeing 747-8s sell for around $350 million (loft not included).
"We're certain all the BBJ 747-8 customers receiving the Aeroloft will be thrilled with this unique and comfortable space," said Capt. Steve Taylor, President of Boeing Business Jet. (Video: The Largest Yacht in the World)
The Aerloft is part of the new trend in private wide-bodies and jumbos. Rather than the comparatively cramped quarters of a Gulfstream , the jumbos can be outfitted with bars and Jacuzzis and even three-car garages (for the personalized Rolls).
Airbus is even selling personalized versions of its giant Airbus A380 private jet. The A-380 can seat 600 passengers – or one Saudi prince, since one of the buyers of the private A380 was Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. Prince Alwaleed’s plane is dubbed the “Flying Palace,” and has three decks, a full marble Turkish bath, holographic screens and computerized prayer mats that always face Mecca.
It's unclear how many the plane sleeps, though Alwaleed's traveling entourage can reportedly reach 26 people.
The plane sold for more than $300 million – unfinished.
An earlier version of this story described the new 747-8 as having three levels, including a loft between the first and second decks. The additional area is actually at the back of the plane, which has only two decks in all.