Elon Musk's new jet sparks speculation due to resemblance to enigmatic Janet Airlines fleet
The purchase of a new jetliner by an eccentric billionaire can hardly be considered newsworthy. However, the ongoing, almost impassive contribution to the climate crisis coupled with indifference about personal impact on the planet, seems to be a common thread amongst figures like Elon Musk.
To give some context, in 2023 alone, one of the many jets owned by Elon Musk under the names of SpaceX and Falcon Landing LCC, specifically a Gulfstream G650ER, registration number N628TS, completed 441 flights-, that translates to a minimum of 1161 hours spent in the air.
Regardless, this newfound aircraft belonging to the creator of X service is garnering more attention than merely triggering concerns about greenhouse gas emissions. So, what actually is it about this aircraft that is generating such an excessive amount of interest?
Boeing 737 - the foundation of Boeing’s power
The newly purchased Boeing 737 by Musk in January of 2024, is a medium-sized, narrow-bodied passenger aircraft. Deeming one of Boeing's most successful blueprints, it contributes significantly to the corporation's current status. The design of the aircraft was born as a result of the rising demand for short and medium-range flights during the 1960s.
A key improved feature of the Boeing 737 is its body and wing optimization, specially designed for frequent takeoffs and landings – the most energy-demanding parts of any flight. Thanks to these innovations, the 737 model is the most frequently ordered passenger aircraft of all times.
As of December 2023, over 11,600 units have been manufactured (of over 16,000 ordered). Even though the design roots back to more than 50 years, new models equivalent are still being churned out, ordered, and except for the latest 737 MAX version plagued by countless design errors, highly regarded.
Elon Musk’s Boeing 737-800
Elon Musk's jet, is a 737-800 variant, bearing the registration number N154TS. Previously, it was under the ownership of Air China and is now registered to Falcon Landing LCC.
The structure of this model is almost 131 feet in length while its wings span 111 feet, the ends of which curve upwards, a feature that minimizes turbulence caused by wings.
The reduced aerodynamic resistance, significantly boosts the range of the aircraft, soaring over 3355 miles. This is achieved by fueling two CFM56 turbofan engines mounted beneath the wings.
Weight wise, the jet's unladen weight is around 41 tons, and the maximum weight skyrockets to 79 tons. Of this, passengers or various cargoes can contribute up to 23 tons since this aircraft is certified to carry a maximum of 189 people. But what exactly is causing the immense excitement surrounding Elon Musk's new jet?
The unusual paint scheme
The key to this intrigue is not in the technical specifications of the new airplane but lies with its paintwork. The aircraft, registered as N154TS, was spotted by an aviation enthusiast at an airport in Los Angeles.
The body of the aircraft is painted gray with a lone black stripe running across the windows. What could possibly be so peculiar about this?
The aircraft's paint job has been linked by conspiracy enthusiasts with Janet Airlines. Known and often dubbed as the world's most mysterious airline, information about its existence is a secret kept close to the chest, with only limited, officially available, and credible information accessible.
Janet Airlines – the most enigmatic airline in the world
Janet Airlines, also known as Just Another Non Existent Terminal, is a small airline operating under the original banner of the U.S. Air Force. It boasts an inventory of 11 registered airplanes and makes use of a private terminal at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.
The main purpose of Janet Airlines is to transport personnel between various USAF bases, often plying to and from research centers like Air Force Plant 42, Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, Tonopah Test Range, and the notorious Area 51.
As of late 2023, based on a public announcement for a civilian contractor to service the Janet Airlines fleet, it has been deduced that these planes are quite active, undertaking up to 190 flights per week.
Elon Musk and his ties with the Pentagon
While the airline's existence isn't a secret, the takeoffs and landings weave seamlessly into everyday airport activity. The characteristic paint job of Janet Airlines' planes cannot be missed, sporting a uniform white color, with a bright red stripe painted along the window line.
This similarity in the paint schemes, though not in color, has magnetized attention towards Elon Musk's new acquisition. Further fuelling the interest is that all Boeing 737s under Janet Airlines (a total of six aircraft) were formerly under the ownership of Air China, much like Musk's new jet.
Worth noting and adding to the intrigue is Elon Musk's known association with the U.S. Armed Forces, particularly the Air Force, chiefly through SpaceX. This includes the recent launch of the miniature military shuttle X-37b (USSF-52) on December 29, 2023, into orbit by a Falcon Heavy rocket owned by SpaceX.