Back in the golden age of flying, it was such a special (and costly) adventure that very few experienced it. It was an experience for the wealthy and celebrities. As aviation technology grew after WWII, jets started to come in all varieties - big and small. Suddenly as the decades flew by, traveling by jet became more accessible to the general public .
No longer only the domain of the rich and famous, millions of passengers each year join the crowds packed in the coach section of ever evolving jets. Just because the rest of us got in on it, the rich and famous were never likely to give up flying - they just moved up into first class. For some, the only answer was to invest in their own aircraft and crews, ready to shuttle them around the globe in the manner to which they'd become accustomed.
Whether the jet is big or small, it hardly seems to matter to those with the cash to buy them. What does matter is that they are top of the line, luxuriously appointed, and private. No coach here. The following gallery shows what are believed to be, as of May, the top ten most expensive private jets in the world.
The list of owners is hardly the complete list as there are plenty of elusive celebrities, businessmen and world leaders out there who would rather not talk about their flying palaces. That's ok; we'll enjoy this gallery of some of the few private jet owners who aren't afraid to show off their aircraft. We think these folks will likely never come across the crew from Airplane Repo, but everyday new ambitious owners are buying and leasing the latest luxury aircraft so you never know...
[Editor's Note: Most of the images of the planes in this gallery are provided by the manufacturers and other sources. Actual images of the private owner's jets with identifying marks can be hard to come by - and would be a no-no to post! These owners love their privacy!
Plus, for all the aviators and airplane fans out there, you'll know that "The Numbers" provided on each plane are the factory specs. For the rest of us, that means a few things. The very wealthy can afford to change bits and pieces on their planes to change performance. Additionally, all aircraft have varied performance depending on weather, altitude, cargo, passengers and the like. We're just giving you the showroom floor story.