I received an interesting phone call yesterday from a reporter with one of our big industry publications. He called to ask about my thoughts on the most important aspects and value points to look for when buying a specific slightly older large body aircraft. Of course, there are a lot of modifications that have been created and implemented over the years for this aircraft type. Most of the aircraft in the fleet have had considerable refurbishment projects. And many of them have been outfitted with newer fancy options like high speed data and direct tv.
The reporter and I spoke at length about the different mods and options. But when he asked me what I thought had the greatest affect on current and future value my answers were the history, pedigree and records. I think I surprised him. Clearly having a certain modification or having an engine program or a specific option all affect value. Good cosmetics vs. worn down cosmetics matter. But, none matter as much to the current and future value and future operating costs as history, pedigree and the condition of the logbooks, especially for older aircraft. There is an old lame expression that I think of often about putting lipstick on a pig. Anyone can dress up an old aircraft with new cosmetics or modifications and make it look great and feel new. But you can never turn back the clock or rebuilt the foundation if the aircraft has not been well taken care of throughout its life.
We are currently representing a few older aircraft including a Challenger 601-3A, a Falcon 900B and a Gulfstream IV. All three have great histories and pedigree. All three have impeccable log books. They all have high service bulletin compliance and average to better than average cosmetics. Some buyers have passed us up because they like the shiny looks of the new interiors or new paint on competitive offerings. But none of the three aircraft in their respective markets can be beat when history and pedigree and logbooks are evaluated. And, when put into service for a buyer, I assure you that the good history and pedigree of each of these three aircraft respectively will mean that the buyers will have lower go-forward operating and maintenance costs. Don’t miss the right airplane for the wrong reasons. When buying an aircraft, especially an older aircraft, buy the right foundation at the right price and then dress it up with new cosmetics or additional options if you need to.
Challenger 601-3A S/N 5037: http://www.jetsales.com/inventory/CL601-3A-sn5037.html
Falcon 900B S/N 42: http://www.jetsales.com/inventory/Falcon900B-SN-42.html
Gulfstream IV S/N 1165: http://www.jetsales.com/inventory/GulfstreamGIV-1165.html