For decades, supersonic passenger flight was the pinnacle of air travel. The graceful delta-winged Concorde filled this role for almost 30 years. But fuel prices climbed, and supersonic technology plateaued. With dwindling profits, the last Concorde flight was on October 24, 2003. Since then, the only way to fly faster than Mach speed was in a military fighter jet. However, several corporate initiatives and technological breakthroughs have revived the dream of high-speed passenger travel. But before you hire a private jet to break the sound barrier, let’s have a quick look at the challenges and perks of the new supersonic air travel.
Development Time – There is a growing list of travelers who would love to hire a private jet for supersonic flight. But the technology is not ready yet. Boom Supersonic is developing Overture, an elegant business-class supersonic jet. But according to the company website, “Overture is in the early design stages, and we’re targeting the mid-2020’s for it to enter service.”
Technical challenges – Supersonic flight has a number of obstacles to overcome. The venerable Concorde was plagued with technical issues such as overheating, and substantial carbon emissions. Also, it could only travel at supersonic speeds across oceans, to avoid creating window-shattering sonic booms over populated areas. These hurdles will need to be addressed by the next generation of aircraft.
Fuel costs – This is the biggest variable in the supersonic industry. Engineers can minimize carbon emissions and sonic booms, but not fuel costs. The feasibility of supersonic passenger flight boils down to economics. Is the potential time-saving worth the price if passengers have to absorb a rise in fuel costs?
Speed – This is the ultimate goal of advanced air travel. Aircraft developer Spike Aerospace sums it up with their corporate motto, “Fly supersonic. Do more”. Spike claims its S-512 jet will fly from New York to London in 3.3 hours, compared to 6.2 hours in current jets. Likewise, Boom is promoting that the Overture jet will fly from Tokyo to San Francisco in 5.5 hours, instead of 11. Their website proclaims, “Do business across the world and be home before jet lag sets in.” In a hectic corporate world, faster travel means more opportunities.
Luxury – When you buy or hire a private jet, you expect certain luxury amenities. The Spike S-512 is designed with the luxury traveler in mind. The aircraft promises to fly 18 passengers at Mach 1.6 without creating loud sonic booms. In addition to elegant leather seating and high-speed internet, the S-512 has replaced the windows with high-definition screens on both sides. You can view the aircraft surroundings, just like through a traditional window, and then switch the view to a movie or work project. Likewise, Boom’s Overture jet is billing itself as an “all-business-class” jet, with an emphasis on privacy, comfort, and productivity. Overture is designed to fly 55-75 passengers to international destinations at Mach 2.2 in perfect elegance.
When can you hire a private jet to travel supersonic speeds? Once these aviation marvels are tested and available, supersonic jet charter won’t be far away. In the meantime, Stratos Jet Charters will get you where you need to go with the most efficient and most comfortable aircraft in our charter network.
To arrange your next luxury charter flight anywhere in the world, call Stratos Jets—888-593-9066.
Private aviation consumers have a convenient alternative to busy commercial airports
Like any aircraft, a private jet charter needs to depart and arrive at an airport. While it’s certainly possible to access larger international hubs, the majority of private travellers—whether you’re flying for business or personal interests—prefer to fly in and out of private jet airports.
There are many advantages that airports hold over larger airports, including:
- Less congested
- More discreet
- Better equipped to handle smaller aircraft
In many instances, private jet airports provide faster, more convenient access to large cities, saving valuable time in ground transportation. With the ability to choose from a far greater range of airport options, private aviation consumers also enjoy superior flight planning flexibility. Here are some of the top options available in the United States.
Teterboro Airport (KTEB), New Jersey
By far the busiest private aviation airport in the United States, Teteboro averages more than 200 departures daily. While it’s located in the state of New Jersey, the airport is just 12 miles from Midtown Manhattan. This makes it a sought-after arrival and departure point for celebrities, corporate travellers and other high-profile individuals with dealings in the Big Apple.
Westchester County Airport (KHPN), New York
Following Teterboro as the second-busiest private jet airport is Westchester County Airport. It, too, serves the New York Metropolitan area and is located in the wealthiest county in the state, about 30 miles north of Manhattan.
Van Nuys (KVNY), Los Angeles
There are a number of private jet airports serving the Los Angeles, but Van Nuys is the busiest. Located about 20 miles northwest of LA, in the heart of the San Fernando Valley, prominent travellers often prefer this airport as it allows them to travel quickly and discreetly to the city center.
Other airports frequently used for private aviation in the Los Angeles area include:
- Bob Hope Airport (KBUR)
- John Wayne Airport (KSNA)
- Los Angeles International (KLAX)
Note: LAX recently opened its Private Suite LAX, a separate terminal that allows VIP travellers to skip the congested main terminal. It features:
- Private TSA checkpoint
- Private dayroom with food service
- Shuttle service to awaiting aircraft
Palm Beach International (KPIB), West Palm Beach
Continually regarded as one of the top Florida vacation destinations, West Palm Beach is easily accessible thanks to Palm Beach International Airport. For starters, the airport is beautifully designed and well planned. It’s also just a few miles from the city center. Other popular travel destinations like Boca Raton are also within easy reach.
While it is an international airport, Palm Beach features several FBOs (fixed-base operators) offering all of the luxury amenities that high-profile travellers expect.
For anyone looking to fly to the Caribbean, Bahamas, Mexico or Latin America from Florida, Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (KFXE) is a great option.
Love Field (KDAL), Dallas
Until Dallas Fort Worth International (KDFW) opened in 1974, Love Field was the primary airport serving the city. It now features several FBO that cater specifically to private jet clientele. It is just six miles from the city center.
Other private jet airports serving Dallas and surrounding areas include:
- Dallas Executive (RBD)
- Addison Airport (ADS)
- Dallas Fort Worth (DFW)
- Arlington Municipal (GKY)
With access to thousands of airports across the United States, Stratos Jets will ensure your flight is planned around your schedule, ensuring you make the most of your time. Call us for a quote on your next flight—888-593-9066.
Growing demand for skilled pilots felt across all aviation sectors
Whenever you step aboard a private jet charter, you can always count on a warm greeting from the pilot (two if you’re flying with Stratos Jet Charters). They’ll even help you with your baggage and get you comfortably settled onboard before whisking you away to your chosen destination. But our industry is facing a very real problem these days: there aren’t enough pilots to go around at the moment.
This disturbing trend is being felt in both the commercial and business aviation communities. It begs the question: where have all the pilots gone? The shortage can be attributed to a number of factors:
- Fewer students choosing aviation as a career
- Increased consumer demand for air travel, both commercial and private
- Thousands of pilots furloughed during the recession of 2008-09
- Many experienced pilots are retiring, or will retire soon
- Tighter regulations regarding pilot training
The increased demand for air travel across all sectors, coupled with the lack of people taking up piloting as a career, are the two primary drivers of this shortage. While many airlines have since recalled pilots that were furloughed from a decade ago, many have left the industry to pursue different career paths.
This pilot shortfall is already being felt by many smaller regional airlines, as well as low-cost carriers, that are being forced to amend their services and operations, including:
- Cancelling select flights/routes
- Selling off aircraft
- Suspend operations indefinitely
In some cases, regional airlines are replacing smaller, lower-occupancy aircraft in their fleets with ones with larger seating capacities in order to maximize the number of passengers they can transport with their available pilots.
Commercial Airline Recruitment Ramping up
Major commercial airlines in the United States are hiring at a rate not seen since before 9/11. They are competing with one another to hire—and more importantly, retain—whatever talent is available.
Where they could once select the most experienced and skilled pilots to fill vacancies, they are now being forced to lower their standards. In a bid to boost personnel numbers, many major airlines are actively trying to pry pilots away from the private jet charter sector and smaller regional operators. They are successfully able to do this by offering a combination of:
- Increased salaries
- Predictable schedules
- Better retirement benefits
It’s difficult to blame them for this tactic. By enticing business aviation pilots to work for them, commercial airlines know they’re getting a highly trained employee.
Most private operators require their pilots to meet the highest standards for experience and training. In fact, many private jet pilots start out as commercial airline pilots before joining the jet charter industry. Further to that, at Stratos Jet Charters, we require the operators we work with to meet our own safety criteria. For example, Pilots in Command must have:
- ATP (Airline Transport Pilot) License
- Minimum of 3,000 hours of total flight time
- 1,500 hours as the Captain
First Officers must also meet stringent training requirements.
To learn more about pilot training, read our post: Business Jet Pilots: Why Time in Type Matters for Air Charter Safety.
Now, the trend is reversing, as the airlines, recognizing the need for more pilots, are offering better pay and incentives. The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), drawing on results from its annual Compensation Survey, published an article comparing the salaries of commercial airline and business aircraft pilots. Depending on the size and type of aircraft, a senior captain flying a business jet in 2017 earned between $106, 536 and $176,288. According to the Allied Pilots Association, an American Airlines pilot earned between $239,363 and 298,972, depending in the size of aircraft.
As you would expect, having to pay higher salaries to hire and retain pilots will affect any company’s bottom line. This will only serve to increase the cost of air travel, as the extra expense will be transferred to the consumer.
However, it’s worth noting that pilot salaries represent only fraction of a charter operator’s overall expenses, the largest of which is fuel.
Benefits of Piloting a Private Jet Charter
With the higher rates of pay and benefits packages, you’d think that every pilot would want to work for an airline. Obviously, this isn’t the case. There are a few factors that often go overlooked when comparing piloting for an airline versus business aviation.
One of the most important is the aircraft themselves. In general, most private jets, especially modern ones, are easier to fly due to their advanced avionics systems. This, in turn, makes for a less stressful work environment.
Furthermore, smaller business jets are able to access smaller airports, giving pilots an opportunity to visit different destinations. And because the customer chooses the route, you’re always flying along new flight paths. So, if you like a little variety in your life, piloting a private jet charter might be the way to go.
Another point worth considering is that many charter flights occur during daylight hours and are relatively short in duration. Depending on the size and range of the aircraft you’re flying, a pilot will often be able to return home at the end of the day. A good example of this would be if a pilot were to fly a group of business executives to an out-of-town meeting, and then return them home the same day.
Looking to the Future
According to the Boeing Pilot Outlook 2017, North America will require an additional 117,000 new pilots over the next 20 years to keep up with expected demand. That figure doesn’t include the private jet charter industry.
To put that into perspective, according to 2017 U.S. Civil Airmen Statistics provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), there are currently 159,825 ATP-certified pilots in the United States. That it 57.7 per cent of what the Boeing report indicates the airline industry will require by 2036.
As airline carriers increase their services and expand their fleets to accommodate the growing demand of consumers, pilots will become more sought after than ever before. This trend will be mirrored in the private sector as the number of operators and brokers increases. If you’re looking for a career that provides a good income and job stability, piloting is certainly worth considering.
A Global Issue
This pilot shortage isn’t just limited to the US. The lack of qualified commercial pilots is a global issue, and the Boeing report estimates that an additional 637,000 pilots will be required worldwide to meet the growing demand. The Asia-Pacific region will experienced the highest demand, requiring an estimated 253,000 pilots over the next two decades.
Attracting New Pilots to Private Aviation
In order to claim their fair share of new pilots, private aviation needs to be more proactive in reaching out. This includes not only those who have already chosen aviation as a career, but also individuals who are entering the workforce, but have yet to decide on a career path.
This starts with letting today’s youth know that good-paying jobs exist in the jet charter industry. That means developing outreach programs where industry leaders visit places of education and make them aware of the career opportunities that await them in our field. This includes:
- Elementary and high schools
- Aviation colleges
- Technical schools
- Colleges and universities
Fly with confidence when you book a private jet charter with Stratos Jets. We conduct third-party safety audits on every charter flight we arrange, and we only work with operators with pilots that are trained to the highest standards. For more information, or to begin planning your next trip, call us toll-free at888-593-9066, or start a quote online.
If you’ve ever wondered how airplanes can fly through the air, you’ve been thinking about the physics of flight. Airplanes are very heavy, so it may seem strange that they are able to lift off of the ground and fly. Flight is possible because of a balance of four different physical forces, which are lift, drag, weight, and thrust. Lift and weight balance each other, and thrust and drag have to be present in just the right amounts. Sir Isaac Newton studied math and science, and he discovered three laws of motion that explain a lot about how things move. And Bernoulli’s principle, published by Daniel Bernoulli in 1738, states that as a fluid, which could be a liquid or gas, travels faster, the pressure inside the fluid decreases. Both Newton and Bernoulli’s studies work together to explain how airplanes fly.
Who Was Isaac Newton?
Isaac Newton was born on Dec. 25, 1642. Newton lived with his grandmother as he was growing up, and he attended Trinity College of the University of Cambridge. As he was attending college, he began studying math and science. He was very interested in math and physics, and he started writing down some of his ideas about motion and gravity. His ideas about math led to the invention of calculus, which made it possible for people to solve complicated math problems. Newton also studied white light, and he discovered the color spectrum. Newton published a science book in 1687 that included his three laws of motion. Newton worked so hard on his science studies that Queen Anne made him a knight in 1705. Newton died in 1727, when he was 84 years old.
Newton’s Three Laws of Motion
The first of Newton’s laws of motion is known as the law of inertia. This means that an object that’s standing still will not move unless a force causes it to move. A force is either a push or a pull. The law also states that a moving object will keep moving in the same direction and at the same speed unless a force changes this. An easy way to think about this law is to remember that things will keep doing what they are doing unless something causes that to change.
Newton’s second law of motion focuses on what happens when a force makes an object move. This law states that heavier objects need more force to make them move faster or to change the direction they are moving in. The bigger the force, the more acceleration will happen.
The third law of motion states that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Scientists sometimes call this interaction between forces an action-reaction pair. This means that when you want to slow down or stop a moving object, you have to apply a force to it in the opposite direction that it is moving. It’s these opposite reactions with moving air and engine thrust that make it possible for airplanes to fly.
The Physics of Flight
The physics of flight requires that lift, drag, weight, and thrust happen at the correct time and in the proper amounts. For an airplane to go up into the air, the lift has to be stronger than the force of gravity. Lift happens at the wings as air passes over them. Airfoils in the wings make the air move over the tops of the wings faster than it moves across the bottoms of the wings. The faster air decreases the air pressure on the tops of the wings, and the air pressure gets higher on the bottoms of the wings, which is the basis of Bernoulli’s principle. This is how lift happens. The weight of the airplane determines how much lift and thrust it takes to get it off the ground. The thrust comes from a plane’s jet engines and has to be a stronger force than the drag. Drag happens as the airplane naturally resists moving through the air. The shape of an airplane helps reduce the drag, which helps it fly faster.
- Newton’s Laws of Motion
- Newton’s Laws and Flight
- The Physics of Flight
- Sir Isaac Newton
- Who Was Sir Isaac Newton? (PDF)
- Sir Isaac Newton: Discoveries
- Isaac Newton Facts
- From Galileo to Newton: Physics Emerges
- Sir Isaac Newton and the Scientific Revolution
- Isaac Newton Biography
- The Physics of Flight
- Basic Flight Physics
- Physics of Flight (PDF)
- Beginner’s Guide to Propulsion
- Theory of Flight
- Bernoulli or Newton’s Laws for Lift?
- The Bernoulli Theory of Flight
- Physics for First-Graders
- How Airplanes Fly