A (likely impossible) 747 ride worth trying to snag


the Qatar Royal plane at Zurich

Okay, so you’re probably not likely to score a ride on this Boeing 747SP, but just think of the possibilities if you could. Getting a peek inside a royal-configuration jet like this one is a rare and tremendous treat.

Originally delivered to Pan Am and then flown by United the plane was sold to Qatar’s ruling family in 1995. Since then it has been part of the fleet ferrying the royals around the world, except not really. It does not carry the Amiri Flight livery nor call sign. Nor is it based in Doha with the others; it makes its home in the UK.

Looking through the photos from the sales listing shows off just what can be done if you’ve got a 747 and want it to be royal inside. The upper deck offers a dozen business class recliners while the main deck has a bedroom, conference room for 10, a throne room of sorts and a spectacularly lavish gold & blue bathroom. There are also 30 or so regular seats for the non-VVIPs who come along for the ride.

Owing to the minimal support available these days for the 747SP the plane also comes with its very own maintenance kit.

Always flies with an extensive “Fly Away Kit”, which contains every AOG item spread across 2 x LD3 containers and includes 2 spare engines and an APU. A 3rd LD3 container carries 2 spare nose wheels and 2 spare main wheels.

Total capacity is 89 passengers. Grab a few friends and make an offer; there is no list price so good luck with that. It even has wifi on board, though it is the miserably slow SwiftBroadband product.

I wonder if it will still be at Farnborough (as noted in the listing) when I’m there for the air show in July.

Image of VP-BAT from Aero Icarus on flickr via CC BY-SA 2.0

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and .

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