If you had a hundred million or so to spare, what would you spend it on? Some people may enjoy a garage filled with sportscars from every decade. Others, like billionaire Shark Tank investor and Dallas Mavericks boss Mark Cuban, prefer to fill a hangar or two instead.
Who is Mark Cuban?
Mark Cuban is an American billionaire who is widely known to the public as the owner of the Dallas Mavericks. He has also reached fame through his participation in the business reality television series Shark Tank, where prospective entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to a panel of investors and try to persuade them to give them money for their business.
When he is not holding NBA careers in his hands, producing movies, or investing in Indian crypto startups, Cuban is quite the collector of private jets. In fact, the wealthiest of the Sharks in the tank has no less than three. This can be compared to Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk who own only one private jet each (albeit both of the Gulfstream G650 variety, which holds the record for the farthest fastest flight in business aviation history).
Mark Cuban’s three jets are also no mere Cirrus SF50s clocking in at $1.96 million. Instead, the Mavericks boss has a choice of an all business-configured Boeing 767-200, a 757 outfitted for a world-class sports team, and a Gulfstream G550 business jet.
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Guinness world record for the Gulfstream
While his first-ever private jet experience was on a Gulfstream II, Cuban, currently worth somewhere around $4 billion, owns a 22-year-old Gulfstream G550. He bought the jet in 1999, just after he made his first billion from selling his second company, Broadcast.com, to Yahoo.
The purchase placed Cuban in the Guinness Book of World Records. When spending $40 million on the jet online, he earned the accomplishment of ‘largest single e-commerce transaction’. He still holds the record to this day. Clicking buy just isn’t the same for everyone.
In an interview with Business Jet Traveler, Cuban said that he had e-mailed Gulfstream after researching the company’s website. They arranged to set up a demo flight for his pilot, who subsequently raved about it, sealing the deal without Cuban ever setting foot in his new investment.
The smartest thing he ever bought
In another interview with Men’s Journal Health & Fitness, Cuban said the jet was the smartest thing he had ever spent money on as it allowed him to spend more time with loved ones.
“It is obviously brutally expensive, but time is the one asset we simply don’t own. It saves me hours and hours,” Cuban said, adding that the most important things in life are family, time, being nice, and avoiding stress.
The Gulfstream V was also the plane of choice of Apple’s late founder Steve Jobs. Apple gifted the tech industry legend with the plane, along with ten million company shares, instead of a pay raise in 2002.
The Mavericks Boeing 757
The second jet in Mark Cuban’s collection is a 28-year-old Boeing 757, which he acquired for $36 million to transport his NBA team, the Dallas Mavericks. Cuban purchased the Mavericks in 2000, shortly after buying the G550. While refusing to offer details on how the plane is outfitted, Cuban says he came up with the strategic vision for the plane, specifically focusing on providing space for players taller than seven feet.
It also has a weight room, special meeting set-ups, and space for medical treatments, as well as coaching and connectivity resources. While there is no footage of the interior of the aircraft, it sounds reminiscent of the concept developed by NIKE and cabin designer Teague, specifically catering to professional athletes and sports teams.
Cuban has also said he travels with the team to all of their games and that the decked-out special cabin gives them a competitive advantage.
The Mavericks’ 757-200 will typically fly 600 hours per year. When the NBA season is over, Cuban charters the jet to larger groups requiring high-end seating. In 2006, the jet was upgraded with Blended Winglet Technology from Aviation Partners Inc, increasing its range and eliminating long-haul refueling stops.
The jet, registered as N801DM, can currently be spotted ferrying the Mavericks back and forth between Dallas and other cities with teams in the Western Conference.
Future looks grim for the 767
The by far most expensive jet in Cuban’s collection was, unsurprisingly, the 38-year-old Boeing 767-200. Initially, Cuban bought the widebody to hire out for high-end charter. It has a configuration of 98 business class seats. Meanwhile, it seems it has also been recruited for Mavericks duty and is registered as N767MV.
Since February this year, the jet, usually operated by Atlas Air, has been stored at Marana Pinal Airpark, Arizona. Before that, it spent five months on the ground at Tampa International, Florida.
While there is no record to be found of Cuban selling the aircraft, it seems to have changed ownership just last month, from Cuban’s company MLW Aviation to Wyatt Aerospace. The latter specializes in sourcing and providing aircraft parts – including buying and tearing down aircraft. Chances are, Mark Cuban’s private jet collection just became short one widebody jet.
If you had the choice of a private jet, what would it be? How would you outfit it if there was no limit to what the cabin could look like? Who would you take along for the first ride? Leave a comment below and tell us about it.