With the sexiest Formula1 race of the year now a great memory, the Grand Prix De Monaco, a couple of comparisons come to mind recapping summer 2014; Monaco to Las Vegas, and the Gulfstream G550 to the 2014 Formula One race car. During a flight of this length to Las Vegas from Monaco gives you time to think about such comparisons. Much searching revealed some brilliant comparisons. Friends of the column and sophisticate jetsetters, Miss Leanne McDonnell and Mr. Rodrigo Alves, lend their worldly insights on the Las Vegas social scene and its dayclubs and nightclubs.
A few years ago Adam Twidell, CEO and co-founder of PrivateFly website, compared a Formula1 car to a G550 and it was such an extraordinarily fascinating comparison it inspired this research. The comparison is very entertaining, especially considering the technology that goes into both the aircraft and the racecar are state-of-the-art. Adam wrote, “Private jets are often compared to Formula 1 cars as both are examples of excellence in engineering, speed and technology.” In this article, we updated the comparison using the current Formula One 2014 Mercedes F1 W05 of Lewis Hamilton to the Gulfstream G550.
The Principality of Monaco is situated at the heart of the seaside Côte d'Azur, and about the area of Manhattan’s Central Park. Situated between the Alps and the Mediterranean Sea, the Principality shares the French Riviera to the west and the Italian Riviera its neighbor to the east. Monaco has a more elegant atmosphere and the premier hospitality company in the Principality is Monte Carlo’s Societe des Bains de Mer et du Cercle des Etrangers or SBM. Both Las Vegas and Monaco attract people from all over the world, both are rich in culture, entertainment and first class hospitality. Overall, sophistication goes to the Principality, which is home and playground for the über wealthy, and is more expensive than Las Vegas. The Formula One circuit winds through this beautiful Principality every May.
Las Vegas is situated in high desert and boasts less rain, higher temperatures, than Monaco. On May 7 1920, the first airplane flew to Clark County. Newspaper publisher Randall Henderson with passenger Jake Beckley flew a military trainer, the Curtis JN-4 or “Jenny” became the first pilot to land in Las Vegas. Henderson landed south of Las Vegas on a level strip, now McCarran International Airport (LAS), just off the Los Angeles highway, now the Strip. The nearest FBO to land a jet going to Monaco is the Aeroport Nice Côte d’Azur (NCE) in Nice. Monaco is about seven minutes ride from Nice by helicopter via Heli Air Monaco to the Heliport de Monaco.
There are several favorable enticements about Monaco and Las Vegas that make them two of the most unique spots in the world. Monaco on the Mediterranean has the most elegant hotels in the world, and of course the Formula One race on Memorial weekend to kick off the season. Monaco has the Palace and Casinos; “For over a century, Monte-Carlo SBM has been responsible for delivering a unique lifestyle, an unparalleled tradition of hospitality and legendary savoir-faire, highly renowned and esteemed by a modern and demanding international clientele … the Casinos de Monte-Carlo have been looked upon as a worldwide reference. They fascinate the entire world because of their "Monte-Carlo" atmosphere, a brilliant blend of luxury, creativity, tradition and audacity. They offer players a choice of stays, which is constantly renewed, at the heart of the world’s most prestigious resort.”
Las Vegas have casinos in a various sizes and class. Monaco’s casinos are high value games, Las Vegas is diverse and open to all budgets for the gaming, shopping or entertainment-seeking tourist, to the serious high end gaming patron. Las Vegas is home to larger casinos that are built with predetermination to accommodate the entire entertainment space with its abundant choices of entertainment and dining for singles, and families. Monaco has some of the most elegant, tantalizing and flavorful restaurants with much better views than Las Vegas. Monaco has the heritage; Las Vegas is developing as more than a gaming town, it has a respectable and flourishing art and music culture.
Nearby in the surrounding area of Clark County, tourists can engage in a variety of outdoor activities; from walking the Strip and its famous Kodak moments to snow & water skiing, hiking, camping, to golf, pools and beach clubs. If indoor activities are your way of escaping the heat, tourists can find a variety of indoor activities in Las Vegas; aquariums, shopping malls, and some of the most opulent spas in the world. If you are looking for a little culture in Las Vegas, we have some, from the most decadent to the most sophisticated history, art and cultural museum offerings. Monaco has fewer clubs than Las Vegas but makes a difference in the distinguished landscape that is only Monaco; high-end quality and ambience snuggled with ornate perfect historical museums and a dress code.
Las Vegas has one of the largest selections of shows and concerts in the world all on the famous 4.2 miles Las Vegas Strip, home to the most exciting gaming in the world. Las Vegas nightclubs, beach clubs and casino resorts outperform Monaco by enormity. Monaco cost more than Las Vegas to visit, whereas, Las Vegas can be done from budget trip to über lifestyle in high-end suites, private jets, and Rolls Royce chauffer driven cars.
According to Monaco IQ there are four "products" offered by SBM. “First there is the excitement, represented by gaming and sports. The excitement of breaking the bank in the Monte Carlo Casino, or of seeing the F1 drivers risking life and limb on the hairpin bends of the Principality. The second is the ‘art de vivre’, is the use of the best things possible in every aspect of your life, represented by beautifully furnished palatial hotels and fine, gourmet dining. Third is Monte Carlo’s culture, represented by the large number of events organized by Monte-Carlo SBM. And finally, the fourth aspect is that of health and wellness, represented by spa and beauty treatments now offered in the hotels.” Monaco wins the beauty contest; Las Vegas wins the overall appeal.
On a recent visit to Las Vegas, both Ms. McDonnell and Mr. Alves sat down with me to chat about their travels. My interest was mostly about their opinion of Las Vegas and flying. They tell me that the scene in Las Vegas is couture and cocktails, too cool attitude, photos, and limo to the party. It’s simple really, daytime - Wet Republic, nighttime - XS. Miss McDonnell explains it best, “when it comes to choosing where to go in Vegas I always have a look at what DJs are playing so as I know what music will be on but primarily for me it is always about service and what club looks after us the best.. XS for me has the best customer service around in Vegas and is on par with the likes of nightclubs in Dubai as they really know how to take care of there customers with the nightclub manager Adam Farer now a personal friend of mine. … Wet Republic is always so much fun and stands out from the rest of the pool parties for the staff’s friendly nature and yet again I feel I am always given the VIP treatment when I attend here. I love Las Vegas so much because there is so much variety and no matter what time of day it is there is always fun to be had with lots of stylish and sophisticated places to enjoy your summer days and nights.”
Mr. Alves says about Las Vegas, “Vegas is surreal and gives your mind creative imagination and freedom I like the glamour of the night clubs and the quality of restaurants.” He went on to mention his favorite things to do in the Côte d'Azur and Las Vegas are nightclubs, beach clubs, eating out and occasionally shopping at The Shops at Crystals Aria Las Vegas.
Miss McDonnell and Mr. Alves both consider Las Vegas to be one of their favorite party destinations. And why not, Las Vegas is one of the greatest destinations in the world next to Monaco and with several Executive FBO terminals on or nearby the Las Vegas Strip; you can go from tarmac to resort in a matter of minutes. There is more to do in Las Vegas than anywhere else in the world. Miss McDonnell fancy’s Boeing and Gulfstream’s whereas Mr. Alves tends to favor Airbus and Embraer.
Often described as the Ferrari of the private jet world, the Gulfstream G550 can be configured for up to 18 passengers and cost approximately $55MM USD or fly for about $8,000 per hour; the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W05 Hybrid car has one seat and cost approximately $10MM USD. Operating either one of these technological dreams will require some backing because the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W05 Hybrid cost $470MM per year to run and the Gulfstream G550 cost $2.5MM per year.
Now for some fun facts, we will compare power speed, acceleration, engines, power-to-weight, g-forces and fuel burn. A new Mercedes Benz PU106U, 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 engine that operates in conjunction with an Energy Recovery System (ERS), powers the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W05 Hybrid. This new Mercedes F1W05 Hybrid weighs 691kg empty, with a power-to-weight ratio of 1,240bhp per tonne, or 1.1 bhp / kg.
Gulfstream lists the G550 weight at approximately 48,300 lb. / 21,909 kg (4 crew). Fred George wrote, “The G550 has the highest thrust-to-weight ratio, the fastest climb times and the most payload of any pure business jet.” The G550s range is published at 6,750 nm and performs at a thrust to weight ratio of 2.95; approximately one pound of thrust for every pound of G550, or 0.63 Kw/Kg.
Mercedes-Benz PU106A Hybrid 1.6-litre V6 displaces 600hp and up to 761hp when combined with the Engine Recovery System, and burns fuel at a max rate of 100kg/hr. or 1.67 Liters per minute. Gulfstream’s G550 Rolls-Royce BR710 turbo fan engines displace 15,385 pounds (68.4 kN) of thrust per engine, and burn jet fuel at a rate of 358g/h on average or 70¢/NM, based on environmental conditions the aircraft is situated – density altitude, payload, and atmospheric conditions. The final comparisons are speed, acceleration and G Force. The 2014 Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W05 Hybrid new1.6-litre turbocharged V6 will accelerate 0 – 60mph in 1.7 seconds, with qualifying speeds around 212mph and lateral G-Force of 3.5Gs. According to the Formula 1 dictionary, “Formula One drivers usually experience 5 g while braking, 2 g while accelerating, and 4 to 6 g while cornering.” The Gulfstream G550 while it does not perform maneuvers as in Formula One, unless there was the need for evasive aerial maneuvers, has a high speed cruise speed of Mach 0.87 / 597.76mph / 926 km/h. Takeoff G-force with 10 or 20 degrees of flaps is 0 to 2Gs, according to Gulfstream’s airplane flight manual Sec. 1: Limitations.
Getting here is up to you. The column favorite aircraft is the Gulfstream G550, because, well, it’s a Gulfstream, and this writer/pilot thoroughly enjoys flying it. Passengers enjoy the Gulfstream because they get to utilize the G550s very roomy cabin, and privacy with all the insatiable accouterments. Some favorable cabin appointments are the 14 large oval windows, which allows brilliant natural light into the cabin and the space, flexibility and amenities the G550 provides.
The prestigious Robert J. Collier Trophy winning G550 treats passengers to one of the best cabin environments with the most accommodating interiors. The G550s entertainment platform with its Airshow passenger information system, includes standard dual DVD players, a multi-disc CD player and two huge LCD monitors. Here we can play a column favorite entertaining Fans of Jimmy Century video on the G550s Airshow entertainment system. FOJCs Alicia Perrone likes to entertain and write new music for Las Vegas casino commercials. One ambition is to have her perform in the well-equipped G550 cabin with LL Cool J!
The G550s fresh-air system maintains the cabin with 100 percent fresh air. The G550 aircraft can go virtually anywhere in the world, and has shorter landing distance requirement than the two Boeings. The Gulfstream cruises higher and is about $10MM less than a larger Boeing 737 platform BBJ, however both have a near matching cruise speed around averaging 458 knots. The G550 requires 5910 feet to takeoff (MTOW), whereas the BBJ has an 8283 ft. MTOW, and a B747, 9901ft MTOW requirement.
Miss McDonnell and Mr. Alves are the consummate jetsetters, flying on a variety aircraft from Boeing to business, and have partied the world over, but love coming to Las Vegas most of all. We met at the new Drais Beach Club & Nightclub, a 65,000-square foot über luxury partying experience on the rooftop of the new Cromwell, situated at the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo. This is the center of the strip with the best views and most Kodak selfie moments! From virtually any VIP table & pool cabana, your Kodak selfie pics background is center strip, Bally’s, Paris, Cosmopolitan Bellagio, Caesars, & Flamingo. Drais is a cool scene, and would play well on your next Las Vegas itinerary. Drais Beach Club & Nightclub received high praise from the socialites Ms. McDonnell and Mr. Alves. They said it is “sexy,” “love it here,” “brilliant views of the Las Vegas Strip,” and “the manager really took care of us,” Alves said. Globetrotting is a way of life for the airhostess and host. We love you too!