Inside the Ksh.2.5B luxury jet that flew Eliud Kipchoge to Vienna


Inside the Ksh.2.5B luxury jet that flew Eliud Kipchoge to Vienna
Eliud Kipchoge aboard a private jet to Vienna, Austria, for the INEOS 1:59 challenge. PHOTO | COURTESY

In Summary

  • Kipchoge - who is set to take part in the INEOS 1:59 challenge in Vienna, Austria - strutted into Eldoret International Airport, waved to and shook hands with bystanders, before hopping aboard a posh private jet dubbed the Gulfstream G280.

World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge on Monday night jetted out of the country for yet another stab at history books in only the grandest of means deserving to a man of his stature.

Kipchoge – who is set to take part in the INEOS 1:59 challenge in Vienna, Austria – strutted into Eldoret International Airport, waved to and shook hands with bystanders, before hopping aboard a posh private jet dubbed the Gulfstream G280.

It sounds light when put like that but the Gulfstream G280 is one of the fastest aircraft in the world and the specific one that flew Kipchoge from Eldoret to Vienna is owned by Sir James Arthur Ratcliffe; who is arguably Britain’s richest man.

Sir James, a chemical-engineer-turned-financier and industrialist, is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the INspec Ethylene OxideSpecialities chemicals group, which is sponsoring the INEOS 1:59 challenge.

The jet, as reported to be valued at $24.5 million (Ksh.2.4 billion) and was flown into the country by two pilots from Britain for the specific reason of flying Kipchoge to the Austrian capital.

Eliud Kipchoge boards the Gulfstream G280 at Eldoret International Airport on October 7, 2019. PHOTO | COURTESY
Eliud Kipchoge boards the Gulfstream G280 at Eldoret International Airport on October 7, 2019. PHOTO | COURTESY

The jet is highly regarded for its two Honeywell HTF7250G engines that make it one of the fastest in the market and, according to corporatejetinvestor, the G280 is so fast that it broke 30 city-pair speed records in just its first year of production.

It also reportedly has a maximum cruise speed of 652mph/1,049kph/Mach 0.85, and a long-range cruise speed of 613mph/987kph/Mach 0.80.

The G280, manufactured by US based company Gulfstream Aerospace in 2011, can travel a range of 3,400 Nautical Miles (6,297KM) at a speed of 528 knots(978km/hr) 45,000 feet above sea level.

The jet can accommodate up to ten people seated in the executive style.

The interior of the Gulfstream G280 aircraft. PHOTO | COURTESY
The interior of the Gulfstream G280 aircraft. PHOTO | COURTESY

Kipchoge had, at the time of publishing, already arrived in Vienna and taken his first look at the INEOS 1:59 challenge course.

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Story By Paul Ombati
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