Which plane would you suggest for someone who would like to be able to fly fast enough to break the sound barrier, yet also be able to pull lots of Gs?

What would be the price of such a plane, and how much would it cost per hour to run and be maintained?

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    $\begingroup$ You know how much training/equipment it takes to pull 8g without passing out, right? Most mortals (that is - non fast jet pilots) pass out below 5g. I've done about +3.5 sustained for a few seconds, and it was harsh. $\endgroup$ – Jamiec Oct 5 '18 at 15:35
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe a MiG 17 in a dive. I've seen them listed for <$100k. $\endgroup$ – acpilot Oct 5 '18 at 19:16

Ignoring the various practical limitations that 99.9999991% of people would encounter....

The answer more has to do with what is available than what would be optimal. There are not a whole lot of air frames that fit such a criteria and there are even fewer that are for sale to/in the public hands, when talking about things that exist in the single digit realm for-sale quantity is a real factor.

This McDonnell Douglass F-4 is currently listed for 3,950,000 USD and perhaps gives a good basis for what such a plane would cost. The F-4 carries 3335 gallons of Jet fuel, at my local field where fuel is a reasonable 4.50 a gallon its going to cost you 15000 USD to top off the tanks. Fuel burn depends on how you run the aircraft, if you are slamming it at super sonic speeds all the time your hourly burn rate is going to be high.

Maintenance is harder to pin down. These jets were generally operated by the military so you are going to need to find a mechanic out in the world that is willing to deal with it. You may get lucky and find someone who has some military experience to do the work but if you cant you are going to need to hunt down all the maintenance manuals and related documentation for the aircraft which may be harder to come by than you think. On top of that you need to keep two J79 in working order that may already have a lot of time on them.

If you want to hop to the other side of the pond design wise this MIG-29 is listed for 4.60 Million USD and will get you into the super sonic spectrum and allow you to pull some G's.

So for ~4.5 Million and some non determinant maintenance costs, lets say conservatively 500,000 a year for fuel, oil, incidentals, maintenance, some new tires, avionics and other odds and ends you can have all the fun in the sky you want.

  • $\begingroup$ "various practical limitations that 99.99999991% of people would encounter" So you're saying there are right around 7 people in the world who could design an airplane that can pull 8 g, or who can pull 8 g using such an airplane? That seems rather on the low side. $\endgroup$ – user Oct 5 '18 at 17:14
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    $\begingroup$ @MichaelKjörling Ive removed one of the 9's but even if there were thousands of people with the physical ability, proper pilot certifications, and most importantly, money to own something like this privately there simply dont seem to be that many available at market. $\endgroup$ – Dave Oct 5 '18 at 17:40
  • $\begingroup$ The other problem is that it would be an exhibition category aircraft... $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Oct 5 '18 at 18:24
  • $\begingroup$ @RonBeyer How is that a problem in the context of the question asked? $\endgroup$ – rene Oct 6 '18 at 8:49
  • $\begingroup$ The F-4 is hardly the right tool for the job. The Mig-21 and advanced jet trainers are smaller and cheaper while delivering the OP's requested performance. As for the difficulties for 99% of the people, former jet pilots are a fairly large group that would be capable of doing it. $\endgroup$ – Therac Oct 6 '18 at 8:49

Probably a MiG-21. Some flyable examples are available for between \$50,000-\$200,000, though I suspect some those airframes in an excellent condition will run upwards of \$1 million.

Operational costs for MiGs tends to be surprisingly cheap, though considerably more expensive than operating exotic sports cars or other millionaire toys. At an estimate, I would guess $2000/flight hour for a MiG-21 and it all depends on what equipment is aboard eg hot ejection seats, etc.

Other popular types are L-39s, Folland Gnats, A-4s, F-5s, T-38s, even a Panavia Tornado and a Harrier on the market. They can run from $200000 to tens of millions of dollars and cost thousands of dollars an hour to operate, depending on type.

  • $\begingroup$ The MiG-21 is a very nice-looking plane, and sure it flies quiet well. The prices you quote seem rather low, but securing a proper maintenance for that plane will probably be a very expensive nightmare... $\endgroup$ – xxavier Oct 6 '18 at 9:13

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