Few people on this planet wield more influence and power than Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. According to Forbes magazine, he was the world’s richest person from 1995 to 2017, excluding the intervening five years, and currently sits fifth on the list with his personal net worth of about $1.1 billion. However, it’s a little-known fact that the billionaire tech wizard continued to coach him until 1997, by which time his fortune had already ballooned to around $40 billion. By the early 1990s, Microsoft had grown at a breakneck pace and had already established itself as a major player in the technology industry. However, the company had a strict policy requiring all employees to fly economy class when traveling.
As Microsoft’s chief flag bearer, Bill Gates had to follow the same policy as other employees, and for years he could only ride a coach. Being a Harvard dropout wasn’t all that public at the time, so he was able to travel on commercial jets without any hassle. People who traveled with Gates at the time said he spent his time on long flights reading and sleeping with a blanket over his head. But as chairman and CEO of Microsoft, the billionaire had to travel extensively around the world, making it extremely difficult to plan all his trips according to commercial airline schedules. Interestingly, Bill Gates, who became a millionaire in 1986, continued to fly frequently in economy class only for more than a decade after that.
In 1997, Gates finally decided to join other billionaires in buying a business jet. It was a Bombardier Challenger 604, priced at about $21 million at the time. Interestingly, the billionaire bought the plane with his own money, even though he used it for his business trips, rather than asking Microsoft to pay for it. The Challenger 604 was introduced in his 1995 as a replacement for the Challenger 601 and was produced until 2006.
At the time, it was advertised as a business jet with the largest cabin in its class, accommodating up to 10 passengers depending on cabin configuration. The Challenger 604 is powered by two General Electric CF34-3B engines and has a maximum range of approximately 4100 nautical miles (approximately 4700 miles).
Bill Gates now owns a private jet
Starting with a single Bombardier Challenger 604 jet in 1997, Gates’ jet collection has grown significantly. His collection now includes several fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, valued at an estimated $200 million. According to Private Jet Charter, the Microsoft co-founder owns not one but two of his Gulfstream G650ERs, worth $70 million each.
These two aircraft were introduced as replacements for the two previous Bombardier 700 Global Express jets. The G650 he can accommodate 11 to 18 passengers and the extended range model has a maximum range of her 7,500 nautical miles (about 8,600 miles).
Gates also owns two Bombardier Challenger 350 jets, which boast the largest and quietest cabins in their class for up to 10 passengers. The aircraft has a maximum cruising range of 3,200 nautical miles (about 3,700 miles) and a top speed of Mach 0.83. Bill Gates’ personal collection includes four business his jets, as well as a Eurocopter EC 135 helicopter and a small Cessna 208 amphibious caravan seaplane.
Bill Gates, love of climate change and private jets
Bill Gates is known for his philanthropy and is one of the most vocal climate change activists. He is the author of the book How to Avoid Climate Disasters, which lists everything he’s learned in more than a decade of climate change research and talks about how to tackle the problem. However, he has been criticized for his hypocrisy as he preaches to the world to adopt an eco-friendly lifestyle while living a decadent life, including owning a vast collection of jet planes and exotic cars. There are many. The report said Gates made 392 flights in his private jet last year, more than an average of one a day, and emitted 3,058 tons of CO2. In contrast, the world average is less than 5 tons of him per person.
But Gates insists he’s doing enough to offset the harmful carbon footprint of private jet travel. “Well, I’m very much buying into funding Crimeworks to do direct atmospheric capture that far exceeds my family’s carbon footprint,” Gates told the BBC in an interview. . “And I spend billions of dollars on climate change innovation. So why not come to Kenya and learn about agriculture and malaria and stay home?” But Gates certainly needs to remind us of the old adage, “Do what you preach.”