From Grant Martin:
Ever wonder what it's like to be rich and famous and have your own private jet? Well, it looks a lot like this. Passing through the Mojave Desert airport last week, Gadling spotted Richard Branson's Falcon 900EX, the French made, long range, ultra luxe corporate jet.
Sporting a blown up decal of Branson's iris on the tail fin (the same, minus additional artistic work, done for Virgin Galactic), this jet has a maximum cruising altitude of 36,000 feet, speed of mach 0.87 (662 mph) and in its factory configuration can seat up to fourteen passengers. One can only imagine what sort of extravagances the Branson family has upgraded the aircraft with though. The range and speed of the aircraft make it perfect for important jetsetting moguls like Branson, who frequently needs to commute from his home United Kingdom to his island in the Caribbean to business in Southern California quickly.
And some insight into Branson's Bogus Eco-Drive:
The Virgin boss’s much trumpeted pledge of €1.9bn to tackle global warming is nothing but smoke and mirrors.
In September 2006, Virgin boss Richard Branson pledged €1.9 billion towards tackling global warming. For the next ten years, he announced, the profits from his aviation and rail businesses would go towards combating the biggest, most complex problem that mankind has ever faced.
The promise earned Branson headlines around the world. Media outlets carried photos of him, Bill Clinton and Al Gore at a Clinton Global Initiative press conference in New York. Adults, Branson solemnly told the assembled media, had a duty to pass a ‘‘pristine’’ planet on to the next generation. Politicians and campaigners were effusive in their praise for his imagination and generosity.
However, a look at the not-very-small print revealed that this amazing gesture would not be a matter of taking the profits from Branson’s polluting industries and using them to protect vast tracts of the Amazon.
In fact, the money would go to a new division of the Virgin conglomerate, called Virgin Fuel. Branson was simply gearing himself up to make more money. But as always, the PR spin was that he’d be doing the rest of us a favour in the process.