“Aviation is supposed to be fun,” says Pat Marano, VP for charter and scheduling for Volo Aviation.
And in the static park, Volo is showing a aircraft that would be a great deal of fun to charter – a 1969 Gulfstream GI twin-turboprop, complete with funky livery retro-cool 1970s-style interior, and an eye-catching op-art design on the tail.
Volo manages the GI on behalf of a private owner, and offers it for charter at a rate of $ 3,500 an hour. “The owner of this aircraft has other aircraft including a GIV but he wanted a GI because it’s fun,” says Marano.
The GI also offers more than just a funky interior. “The selling point for this aircraft is that you are getting a large cabin aircraft for the price of a mid-size cabin,” saya Marano.
“We are very much a boutique business. We make sure to build those one-on-one relationships with customers and owners,” he says. The GI will seat 11 passengers in fun and comfort. And while you might expect the sound system in the funky cabin to be based on an 8-track player, it has iPod connectivity, DVD/CD players and two TV systems. It has a forward galley complete with microwave and coffee/espresso machine as well as a bar and full lavatory with vanity area in the aft. The twin Rolls-Royce Dart powered GI is certified to 25,000ft and can cover a 1,800nm range with a maximum cruise speed of 315kt. Cabin size is, as Marano says, large at 35ft 6in long and 7ft 3in wide, with a maximum height of 6ft 1in. It offers 1,100 cu ft of cabin volume.
Volo doesn’t just offer aircraft charter and management, although it does have a fleet seven strong that includes GIVs, Learjet 45s and Falcon 900s. It also manages FBOs and currently has five facilities over the US. There are FBOs in Fort Pierce and Sarasota, Florida, Manassas, Virginia, Hayward, California, and Houston, Texas.