Mixed Feelings II

5 comments November 14th, 2007at 08:11pm Posted by Eli

On the one hand, this really is just about the height of excess.� On the other hand, I have to admit that having, essentially, a giant house that happens to be able to fly across the Atlantic would be pretty cool…

On Monday, a Saudi billionaire, Prince Walid bin Talal, placed an order with Airbus for his new private plane, the A380. That superjumbo will be the largest private jet on the planet. No hard figures were mentioned, but the asking price for an A380, which weighs 200 tons more than a Boeing 747 and has a floor space of about 6,000 square feet, is around $300 million. That is for the raw plane itself, hull, wings, engines, etc. — nothing to distinguish its interior from the hold of a cargo plane. But even unfurnished, the purchase of this Airbus offers some interesting numbers to think about.

For instance, the average-size house in America — about 2,300 square feet — would cost $106,812,000 at the price per square foot that Prince Walid paid. Even in California, this is a lot. Or think of it a different way. According to recent figures, a Manhattan apartment costs, on average, $1,013 a square foot. (Somehow that’s depressing enough in its own right.) At that rate, the prince’s $300 million would buy an apartment just under 300,000 square feet in size, a little more than six football fields. Throw in another $100 million or more to finish the interior of the plane to princely standards, and you’re talking real money.

All this, and what you get is a plane parked on the tarmac. When Airbus describes the fuel consumption of the A380 — reportedly lower than that of a 747 — it says that it’s better “than a small car,” per passenger. But keep your eye on the “per passenger” number. Airbus assumes that the plane will be carrying 555 passengers. Prince Walid likes to travel with an entourage of 50. It’s safe to say that fuel consumption per passenger on these princely voyages will be astronomical — and, in terms of the prince’s pocketbook, inconsequential.

Insane. I reckon that’s enough space for a video arcade, a gym, a bowling alley, and a screening room, in addition to living quarters. Maybe a swimming pool too, although I’m not entirely sure that that would be practical.

Entry Filed under: Coolness


  • 1. SPIIDERWEB  |  November 14th, 2007 at 10:42 pm

    You forgot the skeet shooting range in the back.

  • 2. bill  |  November 15th, 2007 at 10:21 am

    Putt putt golf?

  • 3. bill  |  November 15th, 2007 at 10:38 am

    Speaking of mixed feeling, I wonder if the people of Anaheim, Ca feel safer now that they practiced being terror victims. Hearing on the radio this morning about how they accomplished this marvel of special effects didn’t make me feel safer…..
    Just wondering

  • 4. Ruth  |  November 15th, 2007 at 4:42 pm

    Hey, our friends are getting to be a nuisance when you’re not holding their hand. Like putting a gang rape victim in prison. (see http://cabdrollery.blogspot.com )

  • 5. charley  |  November 16th, 2007 at 6:31 pm

    man, that’s gonna leave some carbon footprint.

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