Seeing recently -with some surprise- that former military jets of fairly recent vintage can be bought e.g. here and operated by (skilled+licensed²+rich³) private individuals after all classified/restricted tech has been removed, I was wondering what plane would be best suited for a Max-Fuel configuration.
I think I use the right terminology and assumptions, but for clarification:
- 2-pilot-seat configuration: "Learner configuration", like in driving school, where both seats can "pilot".
- I'm assuming, for every modern 2-seat airplane a "learner" version/configuration_kit exists.
- Super-Cruise: I believe is a supersonic mode of travel without using the Afterburner
- Gen-4: I believe this includes F16 and newer (and foreign equivalents)
- Gen-3 and older: There aren't any Super-Cruise-capable specimens?
- I believe, all civilian runways are long enough for Gen-4 planes
- I'm assuming, using afterburner absolutely kills max range.
For example, Wikipedia says (ballpark numbers) an F-18 weighs 15 tons empty, and has a max take-off weight of 30 tons. Internal fuel capacity + maximum external fuel capacity is 12 tons. I'm assuming the remaining 3 tons are the ammo for the Vulcan Gun, flares, the pilot and other stuff you can drop or shoot in order to have a minimum onboard defense/offense power, and not just fuel. Wikipedia seems to say in the specs, that it can travel ~2300km with ~6tons of fuel.
I'm assuming, that a de-militarized version of this 15ton bird will be quite a lot lighter, i mean, no [gun, ammo, flares, armor, ECM, cameras, etc.] needed. I'm guesstimating that could slim the plane down to say 12 tons. I'm aware, that not all the remaining ~6 tons could be used as additional fuel weight, but by converting the gun/weapons bay to big tanks, and running fuel lines to the missile-mounts, surely a large chunk of that could be converted to fuel weight.
So, the above looks like an F18 learner could be "converted" to a max-range-model 2-seater "sports-car-for-the-weekend-trip" with a fuel capacity of ~16 tons and therefore a range of ~5700km. That gets you over every ocean.
Now all of the above does not take into account the fuel usage at Super-Cruise (iiuc), and I have no idea which plane/engine is the most "efficient" in this speed envelope.
SO, basically, my question is: Which plane would a "bezos-rich" person buy, if he wanted something for super-sonic weekend trips with his (also former air-force-pilot) friend, and what modifications could/would be possible to extend (super-sonic) range to achieve the best average speed. Is it fast enough, or even possible (w.r.t. time-zones) to have brunch on both sides of an ocean?
@ManuH pointed to a great example from pre-jet-times, the business exec version of the Cavalier_Mustang
Edited to address comments.